Darren and Phyllis Sudman founded Simon's Fund after their son, Simon, died of sudden cardiac arrest on January 2005, three months after he was born.According to the Simon's Fund Web site, www.simonsfund.org, the pediatrician and coroner told the couple to get their hearts checked after Simon died and they found out Phyllis had Long QT Syndrome.
An ECG (electrocardiogram,) when evaluated by a cardiologist, can diagnose most conditions that lead to sudden cardiac arrest.
The exam is non-invasive, quick, painless and very cheap. Simon's Fund believes that all children should receive routine ECG exams, especially if they faint.
What is Long QT Syndrome (LQTS)?
LQTS is one of a few inherited heart conditions that take the lives of thousands of children and young adults each year.
LQTS is three times more likely than childhood leukemia in the United States.
It is responsible for up to 10 percent of all Sudden Infant Death Syndrome deaths. And it can be linked to a significant number of childhood drownings. LQTS causes young athletes to die suddenly on a playing field.
Technically speaking, LQTS is a condition that affects the heart's electrical system.
The "QT" is a time interval on an electrocardiogram (ECG). LQTS causes the heart to take longer to electrically recharge itself between beats.
As a result, a person can experience fainting (syncope) or sudden death.
What are the Symptoms?
Fainting (syncope) is the most common symptom and can be fatal.
Fainting usually occurs during or immediately after physical activity, or as a result of emotional excitement/distress/surprise, like during your child's soccer game.
An unexplained death of a family member under the age of 50 is another warning sign. The condition can be diagnosed by an ECG or a stress test.
For more information about Simon's Fund, visit www.simonsfund.org.