The main aim of the Danny Mills Heart Foundation is to raise awareness of sudden adult death syndrome (SADS) – specifically in 14-35 year olds. The term SADS is generally used to describe the sudden death of any young person who otherwise appeared fit and healthy and is thought to be responsible for up to 500 deaths in the UK each year. Nearly all cases of SADS appear to directly relate to undiagnosed heart conditions, some of which can be inherited conditions that run in families. In up to 1 in 5 cases of young cardiac death, no definitive cause of death can be found and leading cardiac pathologists often struggle to detect any structural abnormalities within the heart.

The conditions which are known to be responsible for SADS generally cause cardiac arrest as a result of ventricular arrhythmia (an irregular heartbeat rhythm). These irregular heartbeat patterns can be due to a number of rare genetic conditions which affect the electrical currents that run through the heart. Some of these disorders include Long QT Syndrome, Brugada Syndrome and progressive cardiac conduction defects (PCCD) and may be discovered by a routine electrocardiogram (ECG) or more extensive echocardiogram. As more people become aware of these syndromes which may be responsible, more individuals are being diagnosed as being at risk – and many can be treated via a number of options including beta blockers or an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD). Fabrice Muamba is one of the most high profile cases of an individual who was suspect to cardiac arrest as a result of ventricular arrythmia and had an ICD fitted shortly after.

It is our ambition to make EVERYONE aware of SADS and the conditions which may cause it. By educating the younger generation we can increase the number of heart conditions which may be detected before it is too late. We welcome the opportunity to come and talk to groups, be it small or large, to make them aware of what SADS is and who it can affect. If you are interested in having us come and talk to you, please contact us at admin@dannymillsfoundation.com.

Together we can save lives.