Page 61 - Athletic Health Handbook
P. 61
TEAM PHYSICIAN’S CORNER

PRE-PARTICIPATION EXAM AND
CARDIAC RISK

JAMIE EDWARDS, MD CARDIAC ABNORMALITY IS THE MOST
Sports Medicine/Family Medicine Fellow COMMON CAUSE OF SUDDEN DEATH IN
University of California, Los Angeles COMPETITIVE YOUNG ATHLETES. The purpose of

SHARON L. HAME, MD preparticipation cardiac screening is to reduce this risk through early detec-
Assistant Professor tion of clinically relevant or pre-existing cardiovascular abnormalities. Early
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery detection permits timely therapeutic interventions that may prolong life.1
University of California, Los Angeles
Because of the importance of this issue, team physicians should increase
their awareness of historical questions and examination requirements, the
role of noninvasive studies, sport clearance guidelines, and legal consider-
ations needed to complete a comprehensive preparticipation cardiac exam.

Background

It is estimated that roughly 4 million high school aged athletes participate
in competitive sports. These numbers decrease for college (500,000) and
professional (5,000) athletes. Although the overall national prevalence of
sudden athletic field deaths is not precisely known, the ratio is estimated

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