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  • HEADLINE: Student athletes' deaths can often be pr...

    [HEADLINE: Student athletes' deaths can often be prevented; Doctors attribute most to cardiac conditions]

    Author: Tim S (---.dsl.dytnoh.ameritech.net)

    Date: 10-23-02 08:26

    Copyright 2002 Boston Herald Inc.

    The Boston Herald

    October 22, 2002 Tuesday ALL EDITIONS

    SECTION: NEWS; Pg. 003

    LENGTH: 557 words

    HEADLINE: Student athletes' deaths can often be prevented; Doctors attribute most to cardiac conditions

    BYLINE: By Michael Lasalandra

    BODY:

    Sports injuries kill about 150 student athletes nationwide each year, and cheerleading accidents seriously injure hundreds more, according to data presented at a pediatrics conference yesterday in Boston.

    More than 1,200 sudden deaths among student athletes have been recorded over the past eight years, said Dr. Larry McLain of the University of Illinois College of Medicine, with the number remaining constant from year to year, despite growing media focus on the problem.

    "Many of these deaths can be prevented," he said at the American Academy of Pediatrics national conference at the Hynes Convention Center. The majority of athletic deaths are heart-related, with the exception of hockey, in which blunt trauma is the leading cause of sudden death, he said.

    About 90 percent of the sudden deaths are among boys, according to the report.

    Cardiac conditions that can lead to sudden death in athletes include hypertrophic cardiomyopathy - a thickening of the heart muscle - Marfan syndrome and a congenital disorder known as prolonged Q-T syndrome.

    It is difficult to screen young athletes for potential heart problems, however. It would require giving 200,000 echocardiograms, at a cost of $ 4 million, to find one case of cardiomyopathy, he said.

    However, many such deaths could be prevented if portable defibrillators were available at the games and practices, McLain said.

    Other leading causes of sudden death in athletes include heat stroke, exercise-induced asthma, spinal injuries, steroids and other drugs (including ephedra), and sickle cell trait, a blood disorder that afflicts 8 percent of blacks.

    McLain said all cases of heat stroke death are preventable by restricting practices on days when the heat index tops 87 degrees. Better hydration is also important, he said.

    Sudden deaths among football, basketball and hockey players get plenty of attention, with players such as Kory Stringer of the Minnesota Vikings, Hank Gathers of Loyola Marymount and Reggie Lewis of the Boston Celtics making headlines.

    But little attention is being paid to a silent epidemic of injuries among teenage girls involved in the sport of cheerleading, said Dr. Sally Harris of the Palo Alto Medical Foundation.

    "Cheerleading has changed since I went to high school," Harris said. "It's more like club gymnastics now. It's highly competitive and you see injuries much more severe than are seen in other girls' sports."

    With clubs performing complicated multi-level pyramid stunts, some girls are even falling to their deaths, she said.

    More common, however, are serious ankle, knee, elbow and back injuries.

    There were 24,860 cheerleaders taken to emergency rooms last year, up more than fivefold in 20 years, according to her paper.

    Harris called for more supervision, improved equipment, such as shoes and practice mats, and better conditioning to help cut down on the number and severity of injuries.

    Because most cheerleaders compete outside of their schools, they rarely have the advantage of trained coaches, access to doctors and other perks made available to varsity athletes, she said.

    Up to 5 million girls nationally are taking part in competitive cheerleading, she said. Training takes place year-round and girls start as young as age 5.

    "It's a sport now, not just sideline entertainment," she said.

    LOAD-DATE: October 22, 2002

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    [Re: HEADLINE: Student athletes' deaths can often be prevented; Doctors attribute most to cardiac conditions]

    Author: Lisa Salberg (---.dyn.optonline.net)

    Date: 10-23-02 08:39

    I would love to know where that stat came from...

    It is difficult to screen young athletes for potential heart problems, however. It would require giving 200,000 echocardiograms, at a cost of $ 4 million, to find one case of cardiomyopathy, he said.

    ...

    If HCM is 1 in 500 in the general population... how many would be found in 200,000 echos??? someone needs to go back to math class.

    This type of missinformation is what is killing our kids.

    Sorry...I am not happy with this.

    Lisa

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    [Re: HEADLINE: Student athletes' deaths can often be prevented; Doctors attribute most to cardiac conditions]

    Author: Elizabeth (---.fuse.net)

    Date: 10-23-02 09:18

    Lisa,

    I had the same reaction to that stat. Good grief!

    Elizabeth

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    [Re: HEADLINE: Student athletes' deaths can often be prevented; Doctors attribute most to cardiac conditions]

    Author: Sarah B.-Board Moderator (---.client.attbi.com)

    Date: 10-23-02 13:18

    L

    400 HCMs alone. Probably 100 other cardiac problems as well. That works out to 8K per kid.

    S

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    [Re: HEADLINE: Student athletes' deaths can often be prevented; Doctors attribute most to cardiac conditions]

    Author: Sharon (---.ph.ph.cox.net)

    Date: 10-26-02 13:40

    Tim,

    How do I contact this reporter? I would like to set his record straight, and give him some new numbers to report.

    When we (Anthony Bates Foundation & HCMA) do heart screening events, our costs work out to $15-20 per person for an echocardiogram. That would amount to $ 3m to 4m (he reported $4m) to screen 200,000 people. The larger the screening events the lower our cost could be. In other words if we screened 1000 - 2000 people per event instead of 300 - 500 person events our cost could go as low as $4 per person. That would amount to on $800,000 to screen 200,000 people. A huge savings of $3.2 million.

    Also, we have been finding about 6% of the 900 people that attended our heart screening events have heart abnormalities. That would amount to 12,000 detections for heart abnormalities out of the 200,000 people screened.

    Our preliminary findings show 7 people out of 900 with HCM. Of those same 200,000 people, 1,556 could potentially have HCM. That is a much greater number than (1). Our numbers are much more staggering than what this fella claims. We need to combat negative press and mis-information to the public about HCM and sudden cardiac death in our young people. One reporter at at time, right Lisa!

    Of course, portable defibrilators (AED's) can help prevent some cases of sudden cardiac death. These devices have to be in all the right locations (less than a 1 minute walk from the fallen person) to be effective. That project will be a huge undertaking to place AED's everywhere, but it was done with fire extinguishers, so why not AED's. Are not our children more valuable than buildings?

    Sharon

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    [Re: HEADLINE: Student athletes' deaths can often be prevented; Doctors attribute most to cardiac conditions]

    Author: Tim Stewart (---.dsl.dytnoh.ameritech.net)

    Date: 10-26-02 17:31

    You should be able to contact Michael Lasalandra via the Boston Herald website at http://www.bostonherald.com

    Thanks, Tim

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    [Re: HEADLINE: Student athletes' deaths can often be prevented; Doctors attribute most to cardiac conditions]

    Author: Sharon (---.ph.ph.cox.net)

    Date: 10-26-02 18:49

    Thanks Tim,

    I sent a message through the feedback email address. I said most of what I posted in my feedback message, I added a reference to Dr. Barry Maron's HCM numbers of 1 out of every 500 peope. I'll let you know when I get a response.

    Sharon

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    [Re: HEADLINE: Student athletes' deaths can often be prevented; Doctors attribute most to cardiac conditions]

    Author: Allen Bates (---.ph.ph.cox.net)

    Date: 10-26-02 19:50

    The same reporter had a story posted on Oct. 6:

    Kids should get pre-season heart tests

    Boston Herald; Boston, Mass.; Oct 6, 2000; MICHAEL LASALANDRA

    It begins:

    Better screening of young athletes for heart abnormalities and quicker access to portable defibrillators could save lives, said Dr. Mark Link, a cardiologist and director of New England Medical Center's Cardiovascular Center for the Screening of Athletes.

    Better screening, including mandatory EKG or echocardiogram tests, would pick up such problems, but schools don't usually require them. In Italy, EKGs are mandatory...

    The rest of the story is available for pay. It is possible that this was a favorable article, but it cannot be determined without knowing the entire text.

    Dr. Link's credential's:

    Mark S. Link, M.D.

    Co-Director, Cardiac Electrophysiology and Pacemaker Laboratory; Director, Center for the Evaluation of Heart Disease in Athletes

    Department: Medicine

    Division: Cardiology

    Clinical Specialties: Electrophysiology; arrhythmias; heart disease in athletes; sudden death

    Board Certification: Cardiovascular Disease;Internal Medicine

    Education: Tufts University School of Medicine

    Postgraduate Training: Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center; New England Medical Center

    Language(s):

    Office: (617) 636-6156

    Appointments:

    Fax: (617) 636-9115

    Mailing Address: 750 Washington St., Boston, MA 02111 #197

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    [Re: HEADLINE: Student athletes' deaths can often be prevented; Doctors attribute most to cardiac conditions]

    Author: Lynn S. (---.dsl.dytnoh.ameritech.net)

    Date: 10-26-02 21:32

    Copyright 2000 Boston Herald Inc.

    The Boston Herald

    October 6, 2000 Friday ALL EDITIONS

    SECTION: NEWS; Pg. 004

    LENGTH: 511 words

    HEADLINE: Docs: Kids should get pre-season heart tests

    BYLINE: By MICHAEL LASALANDRA

    BODY:

    The deaths of a high school football player in Boston and a teenage soccer player in Maine are unusual occurrences that, nonetheless, might have been prevented, doctors say.

    Better screening of young athletes for heart abnormalities and quicker access to portable defibrillators could save lives, said Dr. Mark Link, a cardiologist and director of New England Medical Center's Cardiovascular Center for the Screening of Athletes.

    "There are things you can do," he said. Dr. Lyle Miceli, a sports medicine specialist at Children's Hospital, said medicine and society must address the issue.

    "It's a problem that is there and it's not going away," he said. "Unfortunately, we don't have a system in place to anticipate these problems or address them once they occur. It is something we have to revisit."

    The death of John Yessayan, the Boston Latin football player, was likely the result of a congenital heart defect known as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, the same illness that caused the death of Hank Gathers, the Loyola Marymount basketball star.

    "It's the most common cause of sudden cardiac death," Link said.

    Athletes don't usually know they have the illness until it is too late.

    Better screening, including mandatory EKG or echocardiogram tests, would pick up such problems, but schools don't usually require them. In Italy, EKGs are mandatory, Link said.

    But Dr. Paul D. Thompson, chief of preventative cardiology at Hartford Hospital and former president of the American College of Sports Medicine, said requiring such tests would be excessive.

    "Every one of these deaths breaks your heart, but we can't overreact," he said.

    Only one out of every 100,000 boys and one of every 800,000 girls playing school sports in the United States dies from such heart ailments, he said.

    In Italy, he said, the death rate is higher, despite the special testing.

    The death of Lauren Nealle-May, of California, a 14-year-old student at the New Hampton School, a private school in New Hampshire, was likely caused by a condition known as commotio cordis, an electrical charge to the heart. The girl didn't get up after a collision with another player.

    The rare event is caused by blunt impact to the chest at just the wrong time.

    Since commotio cordis is a freak occurrence not caused by a cardiac defect, it is impossible to screen for or predict. Protective equipment such as chest protectors may be the only way to prevent such deaths, Miceli said.

    But faster access to portable defibrillators could save the lives of young athletes afflicted by either condition, all three experts said. The machines could be required at games, but are expensive, costing about $ 3,000 each.

    Although coach Paul Costello of Boston Latin responded quickly and gave Yessayan CPR, many coaches and others on the sidelines don't react quick enough, Link said.

    "When a healthy kid collapses on a playing field, people think it must be dehydration," he said. "They don't always call for help right away. It's not like when an 80-year-old man collapses on a golf course."

    LOAD-DATE: October 06, 2000

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    [Re: HEADLINE: Student athletes' deaths can often be prevented; Doctors attribute most to cardiac conditions]

    Author: Allen Bates (144.189.40.---)

    Date: 10-28-02 17:10

    Thanks, Lynn

    re: the article

    When they only consider the death rate, they are not seeing that screening reveals other undiagnosed heart problems as well (mitral valve prolapse, for one).

    yea for the AED stance

    boo for the negativity

    ??? regarding the Italian death rate - I may be mistaken, but that doesn't sound like what I read before.

    Allen

    BTW - Has anyone heard of Doppler tissue imaging? I found another article by the same reporter:

    Ultrasound cardiac test gauges risk

    by Michael Lasalandra

    Tuesday, June 4, 2002

    Researchers have found a simple ultrasound test may be able to identify those at highest risk for a disorder that is the most common cause of sudden cardiac death in young athletes.

    The condition, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, is responsible for about half of all such deaths and claimed the life of Loyola Marymount basketball star Hank Gathers in 1990.

    Dr. Scott Solomon of Brigham and Women's Hospital reported today that a new imaging technique called Doppler tissue imaging - a noninvasive ultrasound procedure - can pick up the condition in those who have not yet manifested symptoms such as a thickening of the heart.

    ``Thickened hearts indicate hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, but not all individuals will develop this thickening,'' Solomon said. ``We wanted to find a way to diagnose the disorder earlier in the disease process.''

    Those with early-stage disease are still at risk for sudden cardiac death, even if they have not yet developed the thickening.

    While the condition is genetic in origin, there is no one genetic test available to diagnose those at risk, since the condition is linked to up to 10 defective genes with a total of 140 mutations.

    The ultrasound test can detect abnormalities in the heart's ability to relax, flaws that may signal a high-risk for cardiomyopathy, Solomon said.

    But the test is not being recommended for general screening of young athletes.

    Instead, Solomon said it should be given to those already known to be at risk for the disease because of a family history. The condition occurs in one in 500 people.

    ``We won't go screening every kid,'' he said.

    **************************************************

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    [Re: HEADLINE: Student athletes' deaths can often be prevented; Doctors attribute most to cardiac conditions]

    Author: Sarah B.-Board Moderator (---.client.attbi.com)

    Date: 10-29-02 00:20

    Hi

    According to a Northwestern Memorial Hospital (chicago) newsletter, Doppler tissue imaging (DTI) is incorporated into standard echo software to measure the heart's ability to expand and contract.

    S
    NOTE: This is a post from the previous forum message board.
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