A bite of hot dog stopped a 9-year-old boy's heart, but not because he choked, according to a case study published today in Pediatrics.
The boy, from Turkey, was eating a hot dog at school when he fainted. He was resuscitated, but then Istanbul doctors heard an unusual heartbeat.
Further tests showed he had a rare heart condition known as Brugada syndrome, which can cause sudden death. A piece of hot dog caused the boy's vagus nerve, which assists heart and gastrointestinal function, to change his heart beat.
People with Brugada syndrome experience episodes where their heart beats too quickly for normal blood flow. While Brugada syndrome diagnoses are difficult to measure, about 4 out of 1,000 people in the U.S. have tested positive.
The Pediatrics report says this boy's case is a reason why children who've gone into cardiac arrest after eating a meal should be evaluated for the heart condition.
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