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Boy Takes A Bite Of Hot Dog At School - Heart Stops

A single bite of a hot dog nearly killed a young boy.

The 9-year-old boy in Turkey had an undiagnosed heart condition, and the mouthful of hot dog pressed on a nerve the wrong way. The bite of food ended up stopping his heart.

It's every parent's nightmare. Imagine being out with your young child for a fun day: perhaps you're shopping for school clothes, or perhaps you're out at the park enjoying the last days of summer. You decide to stop for lunch, and walk over to a hot dog counter. You order a hot dog for your child, and he takes a bite. Something goes terribly wrong, quickly.

Your child collapses. You call an ambulance and a medical team works on the child, and manages to revive him. It's not for long, however, and before you know it your child is unresponsive again. Doctors inform you that your child went into cardiac arrest.

That's a terrifying situation, and it's similar to exactly what happened to one little boy. The unnamed child, from Istanbul, Turkey, suffered from an extremely rare condition called Brugada syndrome. This syndrome is usually only triggered in heavy drinkers of alcohol, but there are approximately 600 children who die from it every year.

According to the Mayo Clinic, most people with Brugada syndrome do not even know they have it. Most parents go completely unaware that their children have it until there is an incident. The condition is so rare, however, that it's not something that pediatricians would normally look for, and would require a special examination with the aid of an ECG.

“Vagal stimulus-dependent SCA after eating a large bite of food may be the first symptom of BS. For this reason, the electrocardiographic results of the children who had a cardiac arrest after eating a large meal with big bites should be evaluated in detail,” The American Association of Pediatrics reported to USA Today.

The syndrome increases the risk for abnormal heart rhythms. One trigger can be pressure on the vagus nerve. This nerve runs through the face, throat and down to the abdomen. If it's stimulated, it can cause cardiac arrest.

This is what happened to the victim. In the young child's case, he took a bite of a meaty hot dog. The heavy meat and bread put pressure on a nerve in the boy's neck. His heart stopped immediately.

Brugada syndrome affects approximately one in 10,000 people. It can cause erratic heart rhythms which can eventually lead to cardiac arrest. Symptoms include chest pain after exercise, breathlessness, palpitations, dizziness and fainting. A lot of the time these symptoms are fairly mild, though, so they usually get written off as nothing serious.

If it's detected, Brugada syndrome is treatable. Preventative measures include avoiding activities and medications that would aggravate it. If fever is present, it's important to be reduced quickly. Some patients can use a medical device, known as an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator, to detect oncoming problems.

Source: NY Daily News, Daily Mail
Photo: YouTube

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