Stories about: heart testing for young athletes

Should schools be doing more detailed screenings of young athletes?

The tragic deaths of two high school athletes last week has reignited public debate about whether or not young people should undergo more detailed physical exams before participating in sports. Those in favor of increased testing advocate for electrocardiograms (ECG) because they’re noninvasive and could help identify heart conditions before they pose problems on the field. However, even though early identification might prevent tragedy in some cases, many in the medical field aren’t convinced blanket ECG testing for young athletes is an efficient course of action. The following blog weighs the pros and cons of blanket ECG testing among kids, written by Mark Alexander, MD, an associate in Cardiology at Children’s Hospital Boston.

Mark Alexander, MD

Just over a year ago I wrote a blog post after a 17-year-old hockey player died in Haverhill. This weekend we learn of two high school boys, in Michigan and Colorado, both apparently with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, who died during athletic contests. Our hearts go out to the families and with the publicity associated with these events I am revisiting that post with a few additional thoughts.

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