Sudden Cardiac Death Prevention with Pre-Participation Heart Health Screenings
The NCAA is known for their young student athletes that push themselves physically to try and be the best at their sport. They spend countless hours in the gym, competing and pushing their bodies to be in the best shape possible for their sport. Furthermore, the NCAA cares for the health of their student athletes. Prior to being able to compete in practice or competition, the athletes are required to have a pre-participation physical, by a medical doctor, to make sure their body is healthy enough to compete at such a high level. The physician looks for any abnormalities that may be present in the athlete’s health during the physical and either clears them for competition or requests further medical testing. The physical consists of checking the athlete’s height, weight, blood pressure, iron levels, medical history, heart rhythm and rate, vision, and evaluate the athlete’s posture, flexibility, joint health, and strength. Even with the physician looking at the athlete’s heart rhythm and rate, it still leaves a gap in the heart health of the athlete. The physician’s examination of the athlete’s heart is not sufficient in identifying abnormalities in the athlete’s heart and keeping them protected from sudden cardiac death. But, with the implementation of a 12-Lead ECG in the athlete’s physical, the gap of the athlete’s heart health will be closed, giving the athlete knowledge of their heart health and the opportunity to seek further medical attention if needed.