The death of Baltimore County executive Kevin Kamenetz surprised many people in part because he was healthy and fit with no history of heart disease.
But doctors said that even people in good health with no signs of cardiovascular disease can suffer a deadly attack that stops the heart. Sometimes it is the first sign of heart problems.
Doctors believe that Kamenetz, 60, had a heart attack that led to cardiac arrest.
"Some people just come out of the blue, apparently perfectly healthy," Dr. Gail Cunningham, senior medical officer at the St. Joseph University Hospital in Towson, where Kamenetz was taken for treatment and later declared dead.
Cunningham said that this happens when a blood vessel suddenly becomes blocked and the heart of it starves off blood and oxygen. The organ then stops working. "It's actually very common that the first manifestation of underlying heart disease is a serious heart attack," Dr. Roger Blumenthal, director of the Johns Hopkins Ciccarone Center for the Prevention [In1
963002] In 2017, Maryland emergency medical services reported 6,888 sudden out-of-hospital cardiac arrest, according to the Greater Maryland American Heart Association and American Stroke Association.