The Sudden Arrhythmia Death Syndromes Foundation (SADS) Foundation supports the call for all children to be screened for conditions that can lead to cardiac arrest or death, not just athletes. In an updated policy statement, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Pediatric and Congenital Electrophysiology Society (PACES) outline new screening questions that can help identify warning signs in all children, and provide the next steps to take if a child displays one of the warning signs.
Each year in the United States, approximately 4,000 children and young adults die suddenly and unexpectedly due to cardiac arrhythmias. These conditions include Long QT Syndrome, Catecholaminergic polymorphic ventricular tachycardia (CPVT), Arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy (ARVC), Brugada Syndrome, and others. These conditions are genetic, and therefore, each child has a 50/50 chance of being diagnosed positive.
“The SADS Foundation is a patient advocacy organization that works closely with the experts in PACES to make certain that at-risk children are identified, receive treatment,and can live a long and healthy life,” says President & CEO Alice Lara.
To help identify kids that are at risk, the AAP recommends the following in the new guidelines:
- Pediatricians and other primary care providers should evaluate if a patient’s clinical history, family history, and physical examination suggests a risk for sudden cardiac arrest or sudden cardiac death.
- If there is a concern, an EKG should be the first test administered, and it should be interpreted by a physician trained to recognize electrical heart disease. The doctor should consider referral to a specialist.
“I want to express how lucky I am that my son survived and I feel for the families who aren’t so fortunate. All I ask is to keep spreading the word to get screened and hopefully it will save someone else’s life.” – Steve, a SADS father
SADS Foundation’s Mission
To save the lives and support the families of children and young adults who are genetically predisposed to sudden death due to heart rhythm abnormalities.
American Academy of Pediatrics/PACES Policy Statement: Sudden Death in the Young
American Academy of Pediatrics Press Release: All Children Should Be Screened for Potential Heart-Related Issues
SADS Recommendations to Prevent Sudden Cardiac Death in the Young