February 25, 2024
General Health Issues

Sudden Death and SIDS- in sports and real life

  • April 16, 2014
  • 3 min read
Sudden Death and SIDS- in sports and real life

Sudden death is one of the most unbearable situation people have faced. A death of a healthy peer, or a relative with no time to cope up , often comes with a harsh outburst of emotions, anger and remorse. I m sharing some of the fact and experiences on “Sudden Death”.

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome – SIDS a terminology which may not be unheard of in the United States, as it was once a chief cause of infant mortality. Babies who were laid to sleep often had succumbed to death before even parents realized that was wrong. How would parents react to this? Would they accept it was due to a cause unknown? SIDS was the 3rd leading cause of infant mortality in USA till the public awareness and “Back to Sleep” campaign was launched reducing the incidence. Children were put to sleep on supine position back then, till campaign with such a catchy name came , it reduced mortality significantly. Guidelines were published on what to do and what not to to prevent SIDS. Some of the important ones I can recall are Avoiding Prone and lateral position during sleep, giving the infant pacifier at sleep, letting baby sleep on a separate crib on same room with parents and using firm mattress at sleep.

Leaving behind the infancy period,


Sudden death has been seen in older children and adults however often may differ from SIDS in that they have an occult cause underlying death in most cases.  The world has witnessed minor injuries during sports and have been treated immediately with the proper Sports Medicine Care, but unfortunately there have been sportsmen that have died on the pitch during games. Miklos Feher case in the football field, watch the video.

List of more players – Footballers who died on a pitch.

The causes of sudden death can be either due to

Cardiac disease or Non-cardiac cause. Cardiac death can result from structural disease of the heart itself like Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy, Aortic Stenosis; disturbance of heart rhythm like Long- QT syndrome, Arrhythmogenic ventricular dysplasia, Brugada syndrome;  due to coronary artery disease like Myocardial infarction. Among the non-cardiac cause: Pulmonary embolism, heat stroke, electrolyte disturbances. Most common final pathway in adults sudden death is Ventricular fibrillation- severe derangement of heart rhythm. But the most common cause of death in competitive atheletes is hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. It is a condition where there is increased muscle mass in the heart that may lead to obstruction to blood flow.

We have lost one of our senior during a cricket match due to same cause. During batting he suddenly fell to the ground and the well to do student with bright future was lost, declared at hospital. It was a moment of great shock to the entire college, and we could imagine the tremendous effect on his family.

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