Should EKG Testing be Required in High School Sports? College? - Post
With athletes dying of sudden cardiac arrest every year, debates over mandatory EKG testing continue to rage on throughout the country. The Wall Street Journal tackles the subject in a recent article titled “Getting to the Heart of the Matter: Should NCAA Require EKG Testing?”
Sharon Terlep of the Wall Street Journal writes, “Even opponents of mandatory EKG screening of college athletes acknowledged that the rate of basketball-player death reported in the new study is alarming. ‘The death rate of one in 5,200 basketball players per year continues to astound me,’ says Paul Thompson, chief of cardiology at Hartford Hospital in Connecticut. At that rate, he notes, ‘a varsity basketball player has a (one in 1,300) chance of dying before graduation.’ The new study is based on autopsies, death certificates and other research on 79 cases of sudden cardiac death in NCAA athletes over the last decade. Ten of the 79 were male basketball players. ‘As we keep looking at this we are going to find more and more evidence that will support what we are saying,’ said lead author Kimberly Harmon, a University of Washington sports-medicine physician who advocates EK screening for some or all college athletes. EKG, or electrocardiogram, is a noninvasive test that can detect many of the causes of sudden cardiac death.”
The battle over mandatory EKG testing has been especially heated in Texas. KHOU 11 News reports on this in a recent article titled “Texas lawmakers discussing mandatory EKGs for student-athletes.” Marcelino Benito of KHOU 11 News writes, “If House Bill 767—named after Cody Stephen, who died in 2012—passes through the Texas Senate and becomes law, EKG tests will cost families about $15. This month alone, doctors have tested more than 1,000 student-athletes. Fourteen of those students were referred to a cardiologist for further tests, leading to 14 lives potentially saved. ‘If you can reduce the chance of a cardiac event just by one with a test like an EKG, then that’s worth the money we’re putting into the testing,’ said Cusick.”
At Medicine Within Reach, we believe in the life-saving importance of EKG testing and making it easily accessible for patients. We are a group of primary physicians who have come together to form a concierge medical practice. It is our belief that a strong doctor patient relationship is critical to quality healthcare.
With us, you receive easy accessibility, flexible scheduling, and comprehensive care for your complex needs. We provide a variety of services, including preventative health planning, women’s health screening, and comprehensive annual physical exams such as EKGs.
If you think concierge medicine might be right for you, contact Medicine Within Reach for a consultation.