Wednesday, July 21, 2010

When Dreams Can Kill: Brugada Syndrome

Brugada syndrome is a major caused of Sudden Unexpected Death Syndrome (SUDs). All medical jargon aside, simply put, you have a heart attack during your sleep and go into cardiac arrest. Most victims are apparently healthy-looking individuals, so their sudden deaths are hard to accept by relatives. Most are found hours later on their bed, undisturbed. Some frozen in a gasping position, mouths and eyes wide open.

Some recorded facts about this strange phenomenon:
  • Most of the victims are Male.
  • It is hereditary or a genetic disorder.
  • Common in South East Asian groups (Filipinos, Thais, Hmong people)
  • Post-mortem studies show that people who suffered from this sudden nocturnal death have acute pancreatitis.
A study on Sudden Unexpected Death Syndrome was even funded by a Maritime group since the incidence of sudden death during sleep among seafarers onboard their ships were rising in numbers over the years. And most who end up dying were the Asian men.

In the Philippines, it is called Bangungot (distressed moaning in sleep). Filipinos believe that certain demons or spirits were haunting you in your sleep. An evil spirit would rest on the sleeping person's chest, making their breathing labored and heavy until they eventually died in their sleep.

In 2002, a popular Filipino actor Rico Yan died during his sleep (sorta like Heath Ledger), the incident was controversial. Fans would attribute the death due to Bangungot while some were quick to point out suicide or an accidental drug overdose.

Another belief is that the person had gone through the worst and most God awful nightmare of his life which resulted in sudden death. Something more terrifying than Freddie Krueger on Nightmare on Elm Street.

In Laos, they called this Dab tsog, in Thailand, Laitai and in Japan Pokkuri.

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