EastEnders’ Kush Kazemi has been diagnosed with a rare condition called Brugada syndrome, which caused his heart attack earlier in the week that saw him fighting for his life.
Doctors broke the news in tonight’s episode to the sickly stallholder and revealed he needs emergency surgery to prevent further possible cardiac arrests – but what exactly is Brugada syndrome?
Put simply, the condition affects the heart’s electrical activity and can cause it to beat unusually fast. As electrical signals passing through the heart are interfered with, these fast heartbeats – also known as arrhythmia – can be potentially life threatening.
In Kush’s case, his heart started beating extremely fast which caused him to black out as it triggered a sudden cardiac arrest.
As to the cause, Brugada syndrome is usually something you are born with, and is caused by a faulty gene inherited from a parent. The fact this is the first time the condition has come to light is not unusual in someone of Kush’s age, as symptoms typically start to appear between 30-40 years of age, often with no warning signs, and are more common in men.
Other symptoms can include unexplained and sudden seizures, heart palpitations, chest pains and dizziness, and can be triggered by high temperatures and dehydration.
Kush was also told that he needed an operation to fit a defibrillator – inserted through the vein and acting in a similar way to a pacemaker – to prevent further heart attacks by providing a shock to the heart if it starts beating too fast again to help it return to normal.
As there is no cure for Brugada syndrome, and if you are considered at risk from developing a dangerously fast heartbeat, specialists sometimes recommend that an implantable cardiac defibrillator (ICD) is fitted which can stop the arrhythmia becoming life threatening.
So what does this mean for Kush? Now the condition has been diagnosed and treated with surgery, the chances of another heart attack will be significantly reduced, and other than avoiding the triggers and having regular check-ups he should be able to live a largely normal life.
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