March Madness 2011: for whom the bell tolls?


The American Heart Association has developed 12 recommendations for preparticipation screening of high school and college athletes, but the application of these recommendations across the US is inconsistent. A recent clinical study suggests that the incidence and prevalence of sudden athletic death (SAD) is greater than previously believed. Currently, diagnostic screening is considered too expensive and is delivered sporadically. Logic dictates that the medical community must become more involved in reducing the incidence and prevalence of SAD through an improved preparticipation screening process. An effective screening process must be able to reproducibly predict and prevent potential risk using the most effective resources and keeping the cost-benefit ratio at a minimum. The most effective use of our resources will limit the potential of liability for institutions and physicians and, hopefully, eliminate episodes of SAD.

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