chapter  37
Sudden Cardiac Death
Pages 13

Sudden cardiac death (SCD) accounts for up to 50% of cardiovascular-related deaths in the United States and other developed countries. By definition, SCD refers to the acute and natural death from cardiac causes within a short period (often within an hour of onset of symptoms). The time and mode of death are unexpected, and often death occurs in patients without any prior potentially fatal conditions. Most cases of SCD are associated with underlying cardiac arrhythmias; however, other causes have been identified (Table 1).