Death, sudden

Unexpected death in a person who previously seemed to be healthy. The most common cause in adults is cardiac arrest. Cardiomyopathy may cause sudden death at any age, and its presence may have been unsuspected. Sudden death may also occur as a result of stroke or in people with unsuspected myocarditis, or pneumonia. Less common causes of a sudden death include anaphylactic shock, a severe attack of asthma, and suicide. In infants, death without warning is called sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) or cot death. Cases of sudden death at any age must be reported to the coroner, who decides whether there should be an autopsy.


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