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Protect Your Kids' Hearts: Summer Activity Can Trigger Genetic Disorder, Say Results for Life, Sudden Cardiac Arrest Association
Date:5/21/2009

"The genetic test can be an important component to diagnosing Long QT Syndrome. In most cases, doctors can't tell for certain if a patient has the genetic disorder by just doing a clinical examination," says Alan Mertz, president of the American Clinical Laboratory Association and the Results for Life campaign. "Research has shown that a genetic test will identify additional individuals with possible Long QT Syndrome, compared to a clinical diagnosis alone."

Medications known as beta-blockers help prevent sudden cardiac arrest in most people. Pacemakers or automatic defibrillators are used in others.

Parents who live with children who are vulnerable to sudden cardiac arrest should:

  • Learn CPR and check that lifeguards or coaches know CPR.
  • Make sure an automatic external defibrillator (AED) is on-site at the playing field, pool, or wherever children exercise.

Chris Chiames, Sudden Cardiac Arrest Association Executive Director, has Long QT Syndrome, as do his two daughters. The girls had a genetic test as toddlers. "As parents, we try to balance having fun with taking heart-health precautions," he says. "Our kids never swim alone. My wife or I always accompany our children to the swimming pool. We make sure the lifeguard is CPR trained and that an AED is on site."

The American Clinical Laboratory Association is a non-profit group representing the nation's clinical reference laboratories. The group's educational campaign, Results for Life, reflects a collaboration of laboratory professionals, clinical labs and test makers focused on the value of laboratory medicine. For more information: www.labresultsforlife.org.

The Sudden Cardiac Arrest Association is the largest advocacy organization singularly ded
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SOURCE American Clinical Laboratory Association
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