Cardiac Trend: Push for Routine EKG/ECG Screenings for Athletes

While media in the past few years might suggest a backlash against the rising use of EKG testing, an emerging trend shows many groups pushing for routine EKG/ECG screening of high-functioning athletes.

In a recent opinion piece published in the Delaware News Journal, Greer Firestone of the nonprofit Heart in the Game shares the story of her varsity athlete daughter who suffered Sudden Cardiac Arrest. The non-profit hopes to provide free EKG tests to all 43,000 varsity athletes in the state of Delaware.

The American Heart Association did not recommend such screening in their 2014 or 2015 recommendations, but the Chief Medical Officer of the NCAA, Brian Hainline, reportedly plans to recommend EKG screenings to team physicians, at least for male basketball players.

Omar Carter is pursuing a similar mission. The former Appalachian State basketball star suffered a sudden cardiac arrest during a pro-am game and his life was saved by a cardiac nurse who happened to be in attendance. He has since founded the OC Foundation to educate and raise awareness of cardiovascular health issues among athletes who might outwardly appear extremely healthy.

Omar Carter will be speaking on April 25 at the ACVP regional event in Charlotte, North Carolina, sponsored by Carolinas Medical Center.

ACVP take-away: for better or worse, you might see more EKG or ECG traffic from athletes in your area.

What's your opinion? Is this a positive development, or are the costs simply too high?

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