Mechanism of sudden cardiac arrest while swimming in a child with the prolonged QT syndrome

J Pediatr. 2002 Aug;141(2):283-4. doi: 10.1067/mpd.2002.126924.


We describe the abrupt sequence of events resulting in cardiac arrest while swimming in a 12-year-old with long QT syndrome. Diving into cold water resulted in an irregular cardiac rhythm and further prolongation of the QT interval, followed by a premature ventricular complex, which initiated pulseless ventricular tachycardia (rate >300/minute). The transition from sinus rhythm to ventricular tachycardia occurred in <5 seconds and was followed by a successful implantable cardioverter-defibrillator rescue shock.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Electrocardiography
  • Female
  • Heart Arrest / etiology*
  • Humans
  • Long QT Syndrome / complications*
  • Swimming*