Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland Coláiste Ríoga na Máinleá in Éirinn

Report to Reduce Sudden Cardiac Death Rates in Ireland Welcomed by RCSI

03 March 2006

The publication ofThe Report of the Task Force on Sudden Cardiac Death (SCD) has been welcomed as a great step forward by Dr. Conor O Brien, Vice Dean of the Faculty of Sports and Exercise Medicine at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI), and member of the SCD Taskforce.


Dr. Conor O Brien, Vice-Dean of the Faculty of Sports and Exercise Medicine, RCPI & RCSI and Member of the Task Force on Sudden Cardiac Death

Dr. O Brien said the recommendations relating to the screening of elite sportsmen and women for possible causes of SCD and associated factors such as performance enhancing and recreational drug abuse, will be taken very seriously by the Faculty.

Published yesterday (Thursday 02 March 2006) The Report of the Taskforce on SDC lays out key proposals and recommendations to reduce the amount of SDC cases in Ireland. Among these include the appropriate assessment of individuals and families who may be at an increased risk of the condition, measures to improve response times to SDC and pre-participation screening programmes of sportsmen and women.

The Vice Dean of the Faculty of Sports and Exercise Medicine, RCSI added the initiative that the Task Force is recommending regarding early response to individuals stricken by sudden cardiac death is welcomed and we are delighted with the undertaking by Minister Mary Harney to implement the recommendations made by the Task Force.

It is estimated that approximately 5,000 Irish people will die from SDC this year. According to the report a speedy and effective response is required if the chances of survival are to be increased. In the absence of an effective emergency response system, survival from cardiac arrest is less than 1 per cent.

Dr O Brien concluded this report makes a very good first step along the road to manage the rare but disastrous consequences of Sudden Cardiac Death Syndrome. While sudden cardiac death is a life-changing disaster for the individual family, and requires carefully attention, it should be remembered that it is a rare event and that participation in sports and exercise continues to have a great health promoting effect on the greater community. This fact should not be lost when these rare tragedies occur.

Click here for The Report of the Task Force on Sudden Cardiac Death