Canadian Genetic Heart Rhythm Network

For Patients & The Public

Sudden Arrhythmia Death Syndrome

Sudden arrhythmia death syndromes (SADS) are genetic heart conditions that can cause sudden death in young, apparently healthy people. These conditions can be treated and deaths can be prevented. Warning Signs: family history of unexpected, unexplained sudden death; fainting or seizure during exercise, excitement or startle; consistent or unusual chest pain &/or shortness of breath during exercise.

Warning Signs:

  • Family history of unexpected, unexplained sudden death in a young person (under 40), including sudden drowning and single car accidents
  • Fainting (syncope) or seizures during exercise (or right after exercise), excitement or being startled
  • Consistent or unusual chest pain and/or shortness of breath during exercise
  • Ask your school or child’s sports association to make this questionnaire a mandatory for all kids before they participate in any active sport.