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Teen Website Highlights Sudden Heart Deaths in Young People

Posted: Thu, 18 Jun 2015

Teen Website Highlights Sudden Heart Deaths in Young People

The Health for Teens website, launched by LPT in March this year, has introduced a page called ‘nine things you need to know about how to save a life’.

The page contains facts about sudden arrhythmic death syndrome (SADS) – an all-too-often hidden killer that claims the lives of around 12 young people aged up to 35 in the UK every week.

Margaret Clarke, senior nurse (Queen’s Nurse) and professional school nursing lead for LPT, said: “School nurses play a vital role in supporting young people to stay healthy. We are passionate about supporting children and young people in learning such valuable skills such as CPR. We are proud to have worked with Joe Humphries Memorial Trust to explain more about sudden arrhythmic death syndrome (SADS) on our healthforteens.co.uk website. It is important for young people to know that SADS is nothing to do with your arteries clogging up due to old age or high blood pressure. It’s an abnormal heart rhythm, which can run in families and go undetected in seemingly fit and healthy young people.”

Dr Ffion Davies, Consultant in Emergency Medicine (A&E), University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust and SADS expert for The Joe Humphries Memorial Trust (JHMT) said: “Health for Teens is a fantastic resource for young people to learn about health issues and I’m really pleased that ‘nine things you need to know to save a life’ is now a key feature.

“The JHMT has already shown that teenagers are a powerful force in their community, being willing to learn CPR and nag adults to remind them that CPR is important!

“If this new website helps even just one young person spot the signs and avoid becoming a statistic by going to see their doctor, we’ll be delighted.”

SADS can be brought on by exercise, making it more common in people who participate regularly in all levels of sport and are very active. However it would only affect people who have a heart condition which could cause SADS. There are also other potential causes of SADS that are most likely to cause death during sleep.

The webpage shows how easy it is to learn vital, life-saving cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) skills.

And it debunks the myth that ‘if someone drops dead it’s too late’. In fact, if the people nearby start CPR and use a defibrillator within eight minutes, survival rates are very high. In places like Norway, Holland and parts of the United States, they improved survival rates from 10% to over 80%from teaching CPR in schools and putting defibrillators in public places like train stations, sports stadiums, schools and village phone boxes.

The Health for Teens website is a unique, comprehensive health resource for young people, with easy-to-access information on topics as diverse as exam stress, anger management, spots and alcohol.

It is the first NHS website that has been created especially to support teens with their mental and physical health and wellbeing. It features interactive content, films, and quizzes – written by health experts with a teenage audience in mind.

To find out more, visit www.healthforteens.co.uk. The website, which launched in March this year has received more than 5,300 hits to date. Follow on twitter at @healthforteens1

Information about JHMT can be found on the website above (search ‘save a life’), or from the JHMT website at www.jhmt.org.uk.

You can also follow JHMT on Facebook and Twitter: facebook/JHMTorguk and Twitter@JHMTorguk

Tags: SADS, CPR