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"Definition of Sudden Death - Sudden Cardiac Death "

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Updated: October 12, 2006

Definition:

Basic Definition - Sudden Death

  • An instant unexpected death.
  • A death that occurs within one hour of the onset of symptoms.

Sudden Cardiac Death

  • A death resulting from an abrupt loss of heart function (cardiac arrest).
  • An instant unexpected death which occurs within one hour of an abrupt change in a person's stable clinical state. The mechanism is generally a ventricular tachyarrhythmia. [Irregular heart beat]
  • Also called "Sudden Arrest"

Also Known as: Sudden Arrest, Sudden Cardiac Death, Sudden Death, Cardiac Arrest

Source:
Sudden Cardiac Death. AHA Position Paper. American Heart Association. Available at: http://www.americanheart.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=4741
Sudden Death. 2003. The Montgomery Heart Foundation for Cardiomyopathy. Available at: http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/cardiomyopathy/sudden_cardiac_death.htm

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