The Conversation: An article by Dr Jessica Orchard


Cardiac arrests in young people — what causes them and can they be prevented or treated?

Dr Jessica Orchard, a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Centenary Institute and the University of Sydney has written an article for The Conversation following the dramatic collapse of Denmark’s Christian Eriksen when his heart stopped during a recent Euro 2021 football match.

She explains why cardiac arrests sometimes happen in young people, the risk factors and how they can be prevented.

“Cardiac arrests during sport are extremely rare. If you’re playing sport next weekend, you should go ahead in the knowledge it’s almost certain not to happen. The benefits of exercise far outweigh the risks,” said Dr Orchard.

“But because events like this do happen, albeit very rarely, we need public venues to have good emergency plans to improve survival, including the widespread availability of defibrillators.”

Importantly, Dr Orchard notes that anyone who has any worrying symptoms should seek medical advice, especially fainting or collapse during exercise.

Read the full article in The Conversation.

You can find out more about the Centenary Institute’s Molecular Cardiology Program and its world-leading research into better understanding, and ultimately treating and preventing, sudden cardiac death in young people here.

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