Should high school atheletes get EKG test?
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Should high school atheletes get EKG test?

October 8, 2019


HEART PROBLEMS? WE MET SOMEBODY WHO MAKES THAT POINT? TAKE A LOOK.>>FOR AS LONG AS HE CAN REMEMBER, ERIC WANTED TO PLAY FOOTBALL.>>WHAT WAS IT ABOUT FOOTBALL. >>I’D ALWAYS TRY TO GO PUSH OVER KIDS WHENEVER I WOULD GO TO THE PARK OR SOMETHING WHEN I WAS A KID. I DON’T KNOW WHY BUT MAYBE THAT IS SOMETHING THAT JUST MADE ME FALL IN LOVE WITH FOOTBALL. >>THE DAY HE CAME HOME FROM HIS FIRST TACKLE PRACTICE HE WAS BEAMING AND HE JUST SAID IT IS THE FIRST TIME I CAN HIT SOMEONE AND NOT GET IN TROUBLE. HE LOVED IT.>>EVERYONE KNEW ERIC WAS GOOD. A REAL STANDOUT. >>VERY GOOD PLAYER. PLAY MAKE ORE. GOOD SPEED. GOOD BALL SKILLS. MADE PLAYS IN EVERY GAME. >>WHAT ERIC AND HIS PARENTS DIDN’T KNOW WAS THAT THIS SEEMINGLY HEALTHY BOY HAD A MAKE PROBLEM WITH HIS HEART. JUST SECONDS OF A TOUCHDOWN SCORED LATE IN THE THIRD QUARTER OF THIS GAME, ERIC FELT SOMETHING UNUSUAL IN HIS CHEST.>>I WAS RUNNING DOWN THE FIELD AND ALL OF A SUDDEN JUST LIKE HIT ME ALL OF A SUDDEN. I LOST MY BREATHE. MY HEART WAS POUNDING ALMOST COMING OUT OF MY CHEST AND I TRIED — I MADE IT OFF THE FIELD AND JUST COLLAPSED.>>Reporter: THE FIRST THOUGHT WAS A POSSIBLE CONCUSSION. BUT IN FACT ERIC HAD NEARLY SUFFERED A SUNDAY CARDIAC ARREST. NOW, IF YOU ARE SHOCKED, CONSIDER THIS. A YOUNG ATHLETE DIES FROM A CARDIAC INCIDENT EVERY THREE DAYS IN THE UNITED STATES. THAT IS ACCORDING TO A 2011 UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON STUDY. WHILE CONCUSSIONS CAN LEAD TO LONG-TERM NEUROLOGICAL PROBLEMS, UNDER LYING HEART PROBLEMS ARE MUCH MORE LIKELY TO KILL. AND FAST. FOR MANY, THE FIRST TIME THEY EVER SENSE ANYTHING IS WRONG IS JUST SECONDS BEFORE THEIR HEART FAILS. FOR ERIC, A SIMPLE EKG REVEALED WOLF PARKSEN WHITE SYNDROME. WPW. THE HEARTBEATS WILDLY DUE TO ABNORMAL ELECTRICAL PATTERNS. IT IS ONELE OF SEVERAL CONGENITAL CONDITIONS THAT OFTEN GO UNDETECTED. >>HERE IS THE PROBLEM. IT MAY BE HARD TO SEE BUT THIS LITTLE DOWNWARD SLOPE. IT SEEMS MINOR BUT THAT WAS THE PROBLEM THAT ERIC HAD THAT COULD POTENTIALLY LEAD TO A CATASTROPHIC ISSUE WITH HIS HEART.>>Reporter: ERIC WAS TREATED SUCCESSFULLY WITH CATHETER ABL ABLATION. BUT HIS STORY AND OTHERS RAISES A CONTROVERSIAL ISSUE IN SPORTS. IF ERIC’S PREEXISTING HEART PROBLEM COULD HAVE BEEN IDENTIFIED WITH A SIMPLE EKG, WHY ISN’T THIS TEST MADE AVAILABLE TO ALL YOUNG ATHLETES? ERIC IS BACK TODAY A YEAR LATER FOR A FOLLOW-UP TEST WITH HIS DOCTOR.>>THEY GIVE YOU CREDIT FOR ESSENTIALLY SAVING THEIR SON. >>NO THAT’S NOT ME. I JUST MINOR PORTION OF THAT. >>WELL YOU FOUND SOMETHING THAT WAS AN ABNORMALITY THAT COULD HAVE LED TO A SUNDAY CARDIAC DEATH. >>YES IT COULD HAVE.>>AND THE DOCTOR IS FIRMLY IN THE CAMP THAT EKG SCREENING COULD HAVE DETECTED THIS AIN ERC AND COUNTLESS OTHERS PERHAPS. CURRENT SCREENING HAS NO EKG. AND WITH ANY SCREENING TEST THERE ARE LIMITATIONS, FALSE POSITIVES, FALSE NEGATIVES AND THE COSTS. ANYWHERE BETWEEN 25 TO $150 APPROXIMATOR TEST MULTIPLIED BY NEARLY 8 MILLION HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS PLAYING SPORTS. PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER, THE AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION DOES NOT RECOMMEND EKGs AS A SCREENING TOOL TELLING US, INITIAL SCREENING USING ELECTRON CARDIOGRAMS TO DETECT THE DISEASE HAS NOT BEEN SHOWN TO SAFE LIVES. >>I DON’T AGREE WITH THAT. I THINK ANY CHILD WHO IS INVOLVED IN MIDDLE SCHOOL, HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS SHOULD HAVE AN ELECTROCARDIOGRAM. >>TO MAKE THE CASE, VTHE DOCTO AND OTHERS POINT TO STUDIES LIKE THIS ONE OUT OF ITALY WHERE EKG SCREENING IS MANDATORY. HERE THEY FOUND 89% REDUCTION IN SUDDEN CARDIAC DEATHS BETWEEN AGES 12 AND 35 AMONG ATHLETES. IT IS NO SURPRISE BUT JIM AND BRIDGETTE ARE ADVOCATES FOR EKG SCREENING. >>IT TAKES FIVE MINUTES. IT IS VERY EASY. IT IS NOT EVASIVE.>>ON TODAY’S EXAM EVERYTHING CHECKS OUT. GOOD NEWS FOR ERIC. >>I ALWAYS TELL MY CHILDREN THEY SHOULD PLAY TO THEIR HEART’S CONTENT. BUT WITH A

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