February 20, 2024
Physical Health

Can You Prevent Sudden Cardiac Arrest in Young Athletes?

As parents schedule sports physicals to prepare for spring, the rising public awareness of sudden cardiac arrest in young athletes leads parents to ask what they can do to prevent this nightmare coming true for their highly active children.

February is Heart Health Month, and no one is closer to a parent’s heart than their children. When we hear about the repeated terror of a young athlete collapsing on the field, our hearts break for their families. The media sensationalized these instances, but the fear of this improbable event keeps us up at night. The chances are never zero. What can a parent do to keep their kids safe while pursuing sports?

Is My Young Athlete at Risk for Sudden Cardiac Arrest?

One in about 50,000 young athletes do not recover from sudden cardiac arrest. While those odds look relatively safe, this same event accounts for nearly 75% of deaths occurring during exercise and sports, according to an article by UCHealth.

Early Detection Can Mitigate Sudden Cardiac Arrest in Young Athletes

The seemingly healthiest of us can still succumb to sudden cardiac arrest. This tragedy impacts soldiers in training and even marathon runners. Exercise is important to us all, especially children, to set a foundation of good health, but is a signature on a piece of paper enough of a “physical” to keep them safe? No.

Parents can insist on an actual physical exam from their child’s doctor. Parents can have their doctors perform an EKG at a visit. Doctors even can order a proactive heart screening. Why don’t they? It is common practice to only suggest options the provider knows insurance will likely cover. Insurance cannot prevent parents from choosing to pay out of pocket for exams, even with no clinical indication. Note that many heart conditions do not present any signs or symptoms without in-depth evaluation.

Where Can You Get an In-depth Cardiac Evaluation to Prevent Sudden Cardiac Arrest in Young Athletes?

Connected Health services all of Western PA with three levels of sports physicals, all of which include an EKG. Sometimes, as a parent, getting the form signed isn’t enough. We want to ensure our children are truly in the best shape to take part in sports. Whether they are playing AAAA or joining a little league, Connected Health providers give an objective look at your athlete’s health.

·     Level I Sports Physical at Connected Health

o Includes EKG, full physical exam, and the completion of school or league paperwork.

·     Level II Sports Physical at Connected Health

o  Includes all of Level I steps plus a BaselineSport Gait Concussion Screening.

·     Connected Heart Program at Connected Health

o  The primary goal of the Connected Heart Program is to identify athletes who have undiagnosed or unrecognized cardiovascular abnormalities, placing them at a higher risk for sudden cardiac arrest. Your athlete will receive an echocardiogram, an EKG, and a physical exam with a provider. Many cases of heart abnormalities exhibit no signs or symptoms. Be proactive. Have your child's heart tested.

Ready to Schedule Your Young Athlete’s Heart Screening?

Our staff are also parents and understand how the unknown can be stressful. Call us today to help set your mind at ease at 724-933-4305 or Schedule a Consult online.

Connected Health's Mission

Our driving passion at Connected Health is to empower and educate the community to play a leading role in their health with primary care as the foundation.

You no longer have to settle for the unacceptable. We offer concierge experience fit for individuals, families, and companies of all sizes.  

Appointments start on time.

Friendly and helpful staff.

A medical team you know, and knows you.

A luxury experience every time.

You're in charge of your healthcare.

Ready to Become a Concierge Member?

Schedule a Free Consultation Today.