It is quite evident that the number of incidents of sudden adult death syndrome (SADS) is on the increase, with athletes across the globe suffering frequently. There exist a number of causes including genetic or, more commonly, a structural defect in the heart – hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). With an estimated young athlete suffering cardiac arrest once every three days in the United States, the need for improved screening is pressing, with electrocardiogram (EKG Florida) considered the most effective in terms of cost and time.
EKG is considered less effective than an echocardiogram which provides a 3-D image of the heart, but it is considerably cheaper, meaning greater feasibility of widespread adoption by schools, universities and sports clubs. It can cost in the region of $100 with the possibility that insurers will cover 80%-100% of the cost.
At present sports clubs actively perform physical examinations on athletes, but with such high numbers of young athletes suffering from heart conditions it appears a new approach is required. While adversaries to the introduction of EKG into amateur sport frequently highlight its imperfections, the alternative, physical examinations at present appear to have more flaws when detecting heart conditions. Dr. Matthew T Wheeler of Stanford University claims that widespread EKG adoption would create “a large benefit in a small number of individuals” he continues “saving enough lives to be cost effective”.
There is a need for greater protection for competitive athletes as they suffer from three times greater a risk of a heart condition than non-competitive sporting individuals. The widespread implementation could prove costly, but the results would be worth it, not only on a ‘cost effective’ basis but to the hundreds of families who lose a child every year through competitive sport. While preventative measures can also be taken by families as visits can be made to clinics such as the Florida cardiologist to check whether any heart abnormalities exist.