Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Brugada Syndrome

The Brugada syndrome is a genetic disease that is characterised by abnormal electrocardiogram (ECG) findings and an increased risk of sudden cardiac death or Sudden Unexpected Death Syndrome, the most common cause of sudden death in young men without known underlying cardiac disease.
Although the ECG findings of Brugada syndrome were first reported among south east asian young people who had died suddenly, it is now recognized that it happens in all races.

This phenomenon is well known among the Hmong people of Laos, who ascribe these deaths to a malign spirit, dab tsuam, said to take the form of a jealous woman. Hmong men may even go to sleep dressed as women so as to avoid the attentions of this spirit.

In the Philippines this sudden death in young people is despicted as a mythological creature called batibat. This hag-like creature sits on the victim's face so as to immobilize and suffocate him.

While reading about Brugada's syndrome, I was thinking I might be one of these cases, why not?, and if diagnosed, I would go to bed and not know if I would wake up next morning. That there might not be a next morning.

What is our attitude to death?. Could we have this feeling present in our lives? would that be horrible or could it have some quality?

(In the picture above, column A represents normal ECG waves, and column B the different QRS waves of Brugada's syndrome ECG. Note the "hump" or the "saddle" morphology)

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