Assessing and Minimizing Risk

Location

Harkins 301

Event Website

http://www.providence.edu/hpm/Pages/Conference.aspx

Start Date

23-3-2013 11:00 AM

End Date

23-3-2013 12:15 PM

Description

Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) is the leading cause of death in young athletes. Most of these athletes are unaware they have a condition that puts them at risk. In addition it is estimated that approximately 1 in 220,000 young athletes experience Sudden Cardiac Death (SCD) each year, although, these numbers are not truly reliable because there is no national mandatory reporting system in the United States. My paper argues that all high school and college athletes should be required to undergo pre-participation cardiac screening (i.e. an ECG and extensive family health history) as a part of a required physical exam to identify student-athletes at risk of SCD. Studies in Italy, where pre-participation screening is mandatory, and at some US universities in the US where collegiate athletes received cardiovascular screening prior to sports participation suggest that including ECG improved overall sensitivity, mass ECG screening is achievable and cost-effective, and that screening lowered the death rates in the population screened. Some critics believe that the cost of the screening is not cost-effective, but others believe the costs are reasonable; some hospitals in the US now provide student athletes with free ECG screening, or at reduced cost. ECG screening will save lives, and should not be discounted as being too costly. Every parent who has a child participating in school athletics should be informed of the risks, and be given the opportunity to have their child tested. Saving someone’s child is worth the cost of testing. My interest in this topic comes from my family’s personal experience with a student athlete who experienced a cardiac event characterized by shortness of breath and dizziness while playing in a collegiate baseball game. Our son, Neil, was a healthy 21-year-old student athlete who had participated in organized sports since he was seven years old. His event was initially diagnosed as a panic attack, but after he underwent a series of cardiac testing, including an ECG that showed an abnormality, he was diagnosed with Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Dysplasia (ARVD), a progressive heart disease. We have no family history to link to Neil’s disease, and we had no idea he was at risk. Today Neil lives with an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD), takes anti-arrhythmic medication, and no longer participates in team sports. Neil is one of the lucky ones who survived, and his survival impelled me to get involved in my community to promote awareness about sudden cardiac arrest, and the importance of CPR training and the availability of automated external defibrillators (AEDs). Our experience also inspired me to research adding pre-participation cardiac screening for young athletes. If such a program had been instituted at his high school or college, Neil’s disease would have been diagnosed and treated, keeping him from being at risk during athletics.

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Mar 23rd, 11:00 AM Mar 23rd, 12:15 PM

High School and College Athletes Should Be Required to Undergo Pre-Participation Cardiac Screening Prior to Participation in Competitive Sports

Harkins 301

Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) is the leading cause of death in young athletes. Most of these athletes are unaware they have a condition that puts them at risk. In addition it is estimated that approximately 1 in 220,000 young athletes experience Sudden Cardiac Death (SCD) each year, although, these numbers are not truly reliable because there is no national mandatory reporting system in the United States. My paper argues that all high school and college athletes should be required to undergo pre-participation cardiac screening (i.e. an ECG and extensive family health history) as a part of a required physical exam to identify student-athletes at risk of SCD. Studies in Italy, where pre-participation screening is mandatory, and at some US universities in the US where collegiate athletes received cardiovascular screening prior to sports participation suggest that including ECG improved overall sensitivity, mass ECG screening is achievable and cost-effective, and that screening lowered the death rates in the population screened. Some critics believe that the cost of the screening is not cost-effective, but others believe the costs are reasonable; some hospitals in the US now provide student athletes with free ECG screening, or at reduced cost. ECG screening will save lives, and should not be discounted as being too costly. Every parent who has a child participating in school athletics should be informed of the risks, and be given the opportunity to have their child tested. Saving someone’s child is worth the cost of testing. My interest in this topic comes from my family’s personal experience with a student athlete who experienced a cardiac event characterized by shortness of breath and dizziness while playing in a collegiate baseball game. Our son, Neil, was a healthy 21-year-old student athlete who had participated in organized sports since he was seven years old. His event was initially diagnosed as a panic attack, but after he underwent a series of cardiac testing, including an ECG that showed an abnormality, he was diagnosed with Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Dysplasia (ARVD), a progressive heart disease. We have no family history to link to Neil’s disease, and we had no idea he was at risk. Today Neil lives with an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD), takes anti-arrhythmic medication, and no longer participates in team sports. Neil is one of the lucky ones who survived, and his survival impelled me to get involved in my community to promote awareness about sudden cardiac arrest, and the importance of CPR training and the availability of automated external defibrillators (AEDs). Our experience also inspired me to research adding pre-participation cardiac screening for young athletes. If such a program had been instituted at his high school or college, Neil’s disease would have been diagnosed and treated, keeping him from being at risk during athletics.

http://digitalcommons.providence.edu/auchs/2013/panelb2/1