So this is a story that I saw a while ago that quite worried me. Apparently 17 year old, Kasia Ber, died unexpectedly in bed, after being literally scared to death by her mobile phone ring-tone. From the BBC:
An inquest in Hartlepool heard evidence from Miss Ber's boyfriend Scott Wheatley, who said she began shaking when her mobile phone alarm went off on the morning of 28 December last year. She stopped breathing soon afterwards. Coroner Malcolm Donnelly recorded a narrative verdict that the teenager died as a result of an undiagnosed genetic condition. The cause of death was congenital fatal ventricular arrythmia brought on by Long QT syndrome.
So what is Long QT syndrome? From the BBC on the condition:
The duration of the QT interval is a measure of the time required for depolarization and repolarization to occur. In long QT syndrome, the duration of repolarization (or recharging of the electrical system after each heart beat) is longer than normal. This leaves the person vulnerable to a very fast, abnormal heart rhythm (an 'arrhythmia') known as torsade de pointes. When this rhythm occurs, no blood is pumped out from the heart, and the brain quickly becomes deprived of blood, causing the usual symptoms of sudden loss of consciousness (syncope) and sudden death.
There is usually no warning, or sensation of feeling faint or dizzy beforehand. In one in three cases the person appears quite fit and healthy, with no symptoms at all before sudden cardiac death strikes. Long QT syndrome affects one in 7,000 people and in the US is responsible for 3,000 to 4,000 sudden deaths in children and young adults each year.
And so, that seems a remarkably large number of people, who suddenly drop dead unexpectedly every year. You have been warned.Go Top