Expert advises caution as 20-year-old student dies of cardiac arrest after marathon running28th July 2023
This case has stirred a debate on social media with many netizens questioning the lack awareness around marathon running.
A 20-year-old student from Tamil Nadu died due to a cardiac arrest after running in a 10-kilometre marathon in Madurai. Dinesh Kumar, who hailed from Kallakurichi district, fell unconscious an hour after the Uthiram 2023 blood donation marathon on Sunday, and died of sudden cardiac arrest two hours later in hospital.
Kumar, who was a final year BE mechanical engineering student at Thiagarajar College of Engineering, Thiruparankundram, Madurai, was among 4,500 men and women participating in the marathon organised by Madurai Medical College.
The marathon was flagged off by Health Minister Ma Subramanian and Commercial Taxes and Registration Minister P Moorthy at the medical college.
After the successful completion of the marathon in the morning, Kumar appeared to be in good health for an hour. However, later he complained of uneasiness and discomfort, according to his friends. According to doctors at Rajaji Government Hospital, the friends informed them that Kumar had an epileptic history.
This case has stirred a debate on social media with many netizens questioning the lack of awareness around marathon running.
A Twitter user suggested, “One should not go to a marathon without practising it before 2-3 weeks minimum. Staying hydrated is very important,” while another said, “Marathon event organisers have to put a disclaimer that sudden running without practice may lead to fatal issues. Honestly, many people are unaware of this and think they can run two to five km.”
Talking about the same, Dr Udgeath Dhir, director and head of cardiothoracic and vascular surgery (CTVS), Fortis Memorial Research Institute, Gurugram said, “If there is an innate problem in heart muscles or there is an underlying disease in the electrical conduction system, it can manifest during sudden exercise such as marathon running, extensive gyming or lifting heavy weights, leading to cardiac arrest.”
He explained that there has been a rise in heart attacks among youngsters due to unexplained hypertension, which can increase the blood supply during stressful conditions and raise the blood pressure, leading to certain dissection of the main aorta, which in turn causes a sudden cardiac arrest.
Dr Dhir advised consulting a physician before going in for any training program–whether it is an aggressive exercise, marathon running, or gyming. “A physician can guide us, check our heart status and blood reports, and recommend what kind of physical activity is forbidden or not.”
Moreover, he said heart attacks can be prevented by taking the history of the patient–if they have a family history of sudden cardiac arrest or if they have a history of palpitations or atypical chest pain.
“If a person is healthy, has no family history of any sudden cardiac arrest and has got his basic evaluation done, which includes an ECG, blood pressure monitoring or an ECO and doesn’t have atypical symptoms, no excessive sweating and no palpitations, he/she can go ahead with the training program,” Dr Dhir concluded.