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Pediatricians tackle controversial issues in new point-counterpoint sessions at AAP conference

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Pediatric experts will debate the pros and cons of the most contentious issues pediatricians face in their daily practice during the new point-counterpoint sessions at the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) National Conference & Exhibition in Orlando Oct. 26-29.

For the "Controversies in Pediatrics" series, a new topic will be debated each day by some of the most influential pediatricians in the fields of sports medicine, infectious disease, children with disabilities, and breastfeeding. Reporters interested in covering any of these sessions should check in at the press room, W203B.

The schedule includes:

ECG Screening Prior to Competitive Sports: Should it be Mandatory in the US?
4-5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 26
Pro: Victoria Vetter, MD
Con: Reginald Washington, MD, FAAP

When a seemingly young, healthy athlete dies suddenly while competing in a sporting event, people want to know how, why, and more importantly, what could have be done to prevent it?

Research has found that mandatory electrocardiograms (ECGs) for student athletes can save more lives, but nationally, it would cost more than $2 billion a year to cover everyone. Estimates from the American Heart Association have shown that the false-positive rate can range from 10 percent to 40 percent because athletes can undergo changes while training that can alter test results. In Italy, all student athletes are required to have a physical exam and ECG, at no cost to the child or parent. In the U.S., not everyone can afford the test, and it is not always covered by insurance. The controversy remains: if even one life can be saved, should cost be an issue?

Kung Fu PANDAS: Stealth Attacks of Streptococci?
4-5 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 27
Pro: Susan Swedo, MD, FAAP
Con: Donald Gilbert, MD, FAAP

For the past 15 years, there has been conflicting research results regarding PANDAS (Pediatric Autoim

Contact: Debbie Jacobson
American Academy of Pediatrics

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