Navigation Links
Few doctors follow sudden cardiac death screening guidelines for athletes

According to a state survey, fewer than 6 percent of doctors fully follow national guidelines for assessing sudden cardiac death risk during high school sports physicals, researchers said at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2011.

The study was based on responses of 1,113 pediatricians and family doctors and 317 high school athletic directors in Washington state.

Less than half of the doctors and only 6 percent of the athletic directors reported that they were even aware of the guidelines. None of the athletic directors said their schools required physicals to comply with all guidelines.

In sudden cardiac arrest, the heart suddenly and unexpectedly stops beating due to an irregular heart rhythm. Without treatment, death occurs within minutes.

"A young person at the peak of physical prowess, dying without any warning it's a shocking, tragic and potentially preventable death," said Nicolas Madsen, M.D., M.P.H., lead researcher and pediatric cardiology fellow at Seattle Children's Hospital and the University of Washington School of Medicine.

Recent studies suggest that among the more than 7 million U.S. high school athletes, one out of every 30,000 to 50,000 dies annually from out-of-hospital sudden cardiac arrest.

The American Heart Association published 12-point sudden cardiac death screening guidelines for athletes in 1996 and re-affirmed them in 2007. They consist of eight medical history questions and four physical exam elements, including listening to the heart and checking blood pressure.

Researchers sent 2,190 survey questionnaires by mail and email to pediatricians, family doctors and athletic directors over two months. The unusually high response rate 56 percent to 75 percent suggests a compelling interest in the issue, Madsen said.

Physicians were asked questions about pre-sports physicals. Athletic directors were asked about their school's requirements for physicals.

Researchers then used regression analysis and other techniques to determine the level of compliance with national guidelines.

Doctors reported missing several critical questions during screenings:

  • 28 percent didn't always ask about chest pain during exercise;
  • 22 percent didn't always ask about unexplained fainting;
  • 26 percent didn't always ask about a family history of early death;
  • 67 percent didn't always ask about a family history of heart disease.

Study results didn't change with the doctor's specialty, level of experience, location or the athletes' school size. Screening frequency and familiarity with the guidelines were linked to greater compliance.

"We need new directions to educate providers and improve policy requirements so patients can actually benefit from these national recommendations," Madsen said.

The doctors and athletic directors unanimously supported adopting a statewide form incorporating national screening guidelines. Parents should ask doctors and schools if a standardized form is being used, Madsen said.


Contact: AHA News Media Office
American Heart Association

Related medicine news :

1. Law barring doctors talking to patients about gun ownership undermines public health issue
2. Doctors Might Miss Some Cases of Child Abuse
3. Doctors named top in reproductive endocrinology
4. Life challenges prevent those with lupus from keeping doctors appointments
5. Could Listening to Mozart Help Doctors Spot Colon Polyps?
6. Doctors own alcohol consumption colors advice to patients
7. Parents, Doctors Often Differ on Chemo for Incurable Kids
8. Imaging technology might help doctors determine best treatment for Crohns disease patients
9. Parents who go online for pediatric health information are open to doctors website recommendations
10. Researchers track number of doctors disciplined and why
11. Mine-hunting software helping doctors to identify rare cells in human cancer
Post Your Comments:
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... ... Those who have experienced traumatic events may suffer from a complex set ... drug or alcohol abuse, as a coping mechanism. To avoid this pain and suffering, ... traumatic event. , Trauma sufferers tend to feel a range of emotions, from depression, ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... ... Marcy was in a crisis. Her son James, eight, was out of control. Prone to ... , “When something upset him, he couldn’t control his emotions,” remembers Marcy. “If there ... my other children and say he was going to kill them. If we were ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Global law firm Greenberg Traurig, P.A. announced that 20 Florida ... their peers for this recognition are considered among the top 2 percent of lawyers ... as members of this year’s Legal Elite Hall of Fame: Miami Shareholders Mark ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... Comfort Keepers® ... American Cancer Society and the Road To Recovery® program to drive cancer patients to ... and other adults to ensure the highest quality of life and ongoing independence. ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... People across the U.S. are sharpening ... Talker Award, an essay contest in which patients and their families pay tribute to ... at the 2016 National Society of Genetic Counselors (NSGC) Annual Education Conference (AEC) this ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... -- According to a new market research ... Safety Pen Needles), Needle Length (4mm, 5mm, 6mm, 8mm, ... Purchase (Retail, Non-Retail) - Trends & Global Forecasts to ... for the forecast period of 2016 to 2021. This ... 2021 from USD 1.65 Billion in 2016, growing at ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016  MedSource announced today that it ... software solution of choice.  This latest decision demonstrates ... to their clients by offering a state-of-the-art electronic ... establishes nowEDC as the EDC platform of choice ... clients.  "nowEDC has long been a preferred EDC ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016  In a startling report released today, ... their residents by lacking a comprehensive, proven plan to eliminate prescription ... definitive ranking of how states are tackling the worst drug crisis ... four states – Kentucky , New ... Vermont . Of the 28 failing states, three – ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: