Sudden Death


Sudden death can be a tragic ending to anyone’s life and is even harder experience for the family and friends to understand and cope with. Sudden death from a medical examiner’s point of view in not a death that happen instantaneously but one that happen within 24 hours. This is often found in infants and referred to as sudden infant death syndrome. (SIDS) There are numerous factors that can cause this to happen but one possible cause is hypertrophy of the ventricular myocardium. By definition hypertrophy increases cell size and is most commonly seen in cardiac as well as skeletal muscles. The hypertrophy happens in the cardiac myocytes this is caused because there is increased stress. The stress can be cause by many different environmental factors. Some of them include but not limited to infection, birth defects, and under development. The hypertrophy happens in the left ventricle, which increases the thickness of the wall, thus imposing an increased demand for oxygen, which leads to myocardial ischemia. All of the pressures put on the myocardial make it work harder which can cause sudden death to occur. The fascinating but horrifying fact about SIDS is that more children die of this disease in a year then those who die of cancer, heart disease, pneumonia, child abuse, AIDS, cystic fibrosis and muscular dystrophy combined. There is no cure for this disease and even the cause is unknown myocardial hypertrophy is only one of the theories behind SIDS.


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