Sudden Cardiac Arrest kills 325K every year - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Sudden Cardiac Arrest kills 325K every year

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (FOX13) -

The numbers are alarming, and devastating in the Mid-South.

Sudden Cardiac Arrest kills more than 325,000 every year across the country. It's a leading cause of death, affecting every age, race, and gender.

Count the minutes, because for every two, at least 1,000 will die from Sudden Cardiac Arrest.

"Most people don't have any symptoms proceeding this event," said Dr. Arie Szatkowski. "Twenty-five to 50-percent of people, their very first event is to simply collapse."

Dr. Szatkowski became a cardiologist shortly after his 47-year-old father came home, complained about pain in his shoulder and back, and suddenly died from SDA.

"He didn't take care of himself very well and that's partially a reason why he died at such a young age," he said.

Dr.Szatkowski says Sudden Cardiac Arrest happens when the electricity running through your heart goes awry and oxygen can't get to your brain. He says the Mid-South is a bulls eye for SDA, because we don't take care of ourselves.

"Uncontrolled high blood pressure, diabetes, cholesterol uncontrolled, being obese, inactive, have a sedentary lifestyle, have a poor diet," the doctor said.

If this sound's familiar, Dr szatkowski says a lifestyle change needs to happen immediately.

Sudden Cardiac Arrest can effect people of various ages, including those who are as young as age 20 and predisposed to other heart related issues.

"Inherited that either the muscle of the heart or the electrical system of the heart and some congenital structual abnormality of the heart."

While in medical school, Dr. Szatkowski learned he also had a heart defect. He says coming from a family with a history of heart problems, you can't take any chances. You need to exercise and eat healthy.

"I check my numbers regularly. My blood pressure, my cholesterol, blood sugar, things that can potentially lead to problems with my heart."

Dr. Szatkowski said if you have any symptoms of sudden chest pain, nausea, shortness of breath, extreme fatigue or numbness in your arms, shoulders or back seek medical attention immediately.

Not responding quickly, could be the difference between your life and your death.

I have a family. I don't want them to suffer what my family suffered when my father passed away."

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