Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Sudden Cardiac Death And Athletes

I came across an article in New Scientist about sudden cardiac death (SCD) and athletes.  The article addressed the cost of screening athletes for cardiac abnormalities which could cause them to have a fatal heart attack while playing sports.  We echocardiographers are familiar with at least one family of diseases which affect the heart in this manner.  Collectively known as hypertrophic cardiomyopathies, they are difficult to screen for with routine EKG.  It is definitively identified by an echocardiogram, or cardiac MRI.  I have personally been part of a team of health care professionals charged with screening entire junior high schools for this disease.  I believe a focused limited echocardiogram should be part of a pre-athletic physical for all students entering junior high.  I also believe that the cost of this limited echocardiogram can be manageable if civic group, schools and other organizations raise money to deffer the costs associated with this wonderful screening tool.  There have been attempts in the recent past to organize these screening events with limited success.  The benefits seem to outweigh the costs.

"When it comes to professional footballers, problems of the heart are often to do with their latest tryst. But lately, they have taken a much more serious nature.
Last week, 27-year-old Mitchell Cole died of heart disease, a year after he was forced to retire from professional soccer in the UK because of a known heart condition. This follows a report last week that another British footballer, Radwan Hamed, who was only 17 when he had a heart attack on the pitch, will be suing his former club, Tottenham Hotspur, over the brain damage that he suffered as a result."

Thanks New Scientist

Post a Comment