There is only a few data on sudden unexpected death (SUD) in the pediatric population, as well as the role of sport.
Materials and methods: Between 1980 and 2003, 2220 autopsies were performed at the Lyon's forensic institute for SUD (all ages) as defined by world health organization.
Results: Fifty-seven cases of SUD of cardiac origin concerned 6 to 18-year-old children. Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy remained the main causes of SUD. Mitral valve prolapse were frequently observed and for the most part of the cases associated with other diseases. Twenty-four were observed during physical activity.
Conclusion: Our study confirms the low incidence of SUD and its male predominance in the pediatric population (47 males, 10 females). It seems that physical activity is not the decisive factor for SUD. The authors emphasized the necessity to get a rapid access to cardiac resuscitation devices, as well as the formation of collaborators. Some preventive measures could be done.