Children Born with Thin Placenta at High Risk of Cardiac Arrest Later in Life
Following the publication of a new research which reveals that infants born with a thin placenta are twice as likely to die of a sudden cardiac arrest later in life when compared to others, a leading professor suggests that doctors must take a series of measures into consideration at birth to identify babies with such risk.
Experts at a meeting in Parliament hosted by Shadow Health secretary Andy Burnham, will discuss and decide on the further installation and easy availability of potentially life-saving defibrillators in public places, apart from the introduction of a national screening programme to identify young people at risk of cardiac arrest.
Any recommendations will be passed to the Department of Health, Mail Online reports.
There are no known symptoms or warning signs of someone who seems healthy being at a risk of sudden cardiac death, although the number of deaths is in hundreds, including young children, many of whom suffered a heart failure while playing sports.
It is believed that a thin placenta affects the development of a baby in the mother's womb by lowering the flow of nutrients from the mother to the child, which in turn affects the development of the heart.
"We should routinely note the measurements after birth. We know the thicker the placenta the better, and that a thin placenta is associated with sudden death," professor David Barker, physician and clinical epidemiologist at the University of Southampton, was quoted as saying by Mail Online.
"It feels as if more youngsters than ever are being affected. It's time to take a more structured view to see what we can do," Burnham said.
"We keep the evidence for antenatal screening under regular review and will look at any new evidence," a Department of Health spokesman said, according to the report.