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Division of Cardiology


The SUDDEN team aims to bridge gaps in the understanding of out-of-hospital sudden unexpected death (OHSUD) and to develop successful prevention programs. Because sudden unexpected death has such a quick onset, often occurs unwitnessed, and has underlying mechanisms are currently poorly understood, preventative care provides the most effective avenues for its reduction. SUDDEN aims to use information about risk factors and incidence rates to address the frequency of sudden unexpected death, specifically in North Carolina.

SUDDEN Community Impact

SUDDEN collects information from victims of out-of-hospital sudden unexpected death to improve prevention by identifying high-risk populations and meaningful predictors. With the expansion of SUDDEN, we are confident that our population captures one that is socioeconomically and racially representative of the United States.

Role of Research

The SUDDEN vision is a trifold strategy involving Emergency Medical Services (EMS), hospital case managers, and county health directors. As a team with strong relationships within their community, EMS personnel will be valuable disseminators of the SUDDEN message. Case managers provide an essential avenue within hospitals and have the opportunity to educate those with diagnosed chronic diseases. The final tier of this model includes the county health directors: their community and statewide outreach will be a critical component of this program as they act as facilitators between EMS and case managers.

Surveys of EMS personnel, case managers, and county health directors have been conducted to determine the feasibility and interest of the three groups to participate in this prevention intervention method.