Lenient Screenings of Hidden Heart Problems May Attack Athletes

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Athletes are individuals who possessed these certain characteristics which include: good body posture, body built, healthy lifestyle and discipline. In general, they have a healthy body. However, there are some instances wherein these athletes have hidden health problems which may attack them during their play. As a rule of thumb, before an athlete can participate to any sport event which is considered a strenuous physical activity which necessitates a health and sound body, he must first submit himself to series of medical and physical examination in order to identify certain disorders which might put the life of the athlete at risk. However, many athletes suffer from heart troubles because there are only very few doctors who are conducting regular screening for possible heart problems among athletes, according to a study.

According to an article in Hughston.com, “some well-known athletes who have been victims of sudden death include marathon runner Jim Fixx (1984), Olympic volleyball star Flo Hyman (1986), NBA basketball star Hank Gathers (1990), Olympic figure skater Sergei Grinkov (1995), all pro NFL player Korey Stringer with the Minnesota Vikings (2001), and Darryl Kile, all-star pitcher for the St. Louis Cardinals (2002). In my hometown, Jed Bedford, captain of the Columbus State University basketball team and NCAA Division II leader in 2002 for 3-point shots, collapsed during practice and died one hour later on December 14, 2003.”

The American Heart Association (AHA) has seen this present health problem which can be debilitating among the athletes. In response, they have released a new set of guidelines regarding the screening of heart problems which might be hidden among the athletes. The guidelines deemed to help the medical health care professionals and even the team coaches of the athletes to early detection and prompt medical intervention of possible heart problems.

However, the problem lies on the physicians who are not following the guidelines and thus, failure to detect presence of any hidden health problems.

New research which was presented during the AHA’s annual meeting in Orlando, Fla., revealed that only very small percentage of physicians are observing the guidelines which was released by AHA. Specifically, according to the study, only 6 per cent of athletic directors of high schools in Washington State were observing and conscious about the new guidelines which can actually help save the lives of the athletes in danger during their play.

Moreover, according to the American Heart Association (AHA), incidences of sudden cardiac attack and death among high school students who are athletes can be estimated as one every 30,000 to 50,000 athletes. This should necessitate immediate action especially among those physicians who are doing the medical and physical examination of these athletes. Physicians should follow the eight specific medical-history questions which should be obtained among the athletes and four key elements in a physical exam. Furthermore, physicians should ask the athletes if they are experiencing any clinical signs and symptoms of a disease during their practice or even during their competition in order to identify hidden health problems.



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