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Coroner


The government-appointed legal person responsible for ensuring that no foul play has occurred when an unexpected death happens.


Defibrillator A device used if a person has a cardiac arrest. It may be able to return the heart to a normal rhythm by delivering an electrical ‘shock’ through the chest wall.


Delta wave The ECG feature characteristic of Wolff-Parkinson-White (WPW) syndrome.


DNA


The genetic code from which proteins - ‘the building blocks of life’ - are made. We all receive a copy of half of each of our parents’ DNA when the egg and sperm meet to conceive a new human being.


Ectopic beat An ‘extra’ beat which occurs when the heart activates prematurely, disrupting its normal rhythm. The heart’s natural pacemaker resumes its normal control after a brief pause. Most of the time the person does not notice these extra beats but, if they do become aware of them, the sensation depends on how close the ectopic beat occurs to the preceding normal beat. If it is close, only the pause might be noticed. If it occurs further away, it might be felt as an extra beat from the heart, making the rhythm feel irregular or erratic.


Electrical cardioversion A cardioversion is a procedure that can help your heart rhythm, get back to its normal rhythm (called sinus rhythm) if you have persistently abnormal rhythm, such as atrial fibrillation or atrial flutter.


Fibrillation The fast irregular contraction of muscle fibres in the heart


Gene


The segment of DNA responsible for the production of a specific substance such as a protein that in turn forms the basis for the body to exist and function.


Heart attack When the heart muscle is damaged by an artery becoming blocked and depriving part of the heart of oxygen. This is caused mainly by coronary artery disease. (A heart attack is also called a ‘myocardial infarction’)


Cardiac Risk in the Young


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