Integration of 12 Lead Electrocardiograms into Preparticipation Sports Screenings to Reduce the Incidence of Sudden Cardiac Death in High School Athletes
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Introduction: Sudden cardiac arrest continues to be the leading cause of death in young athletes despite participating in a preparticipation sports screening (PPS). The devastating loss of children to sudden cardiac arrest has led communities to demand more comprehensive heart screenings. The purpose of this study was to evaluate a community youth heart screening program in Minnesota. Method: A retrospective chart review of 840 participants aged 14-18 years from August 2015 through March 2017 was conducted. Results: Referrals were made for 2 abnormal EKGs, 12 abnormal echocardiograms, and 59 elevated blood pressures. Cross-tabulations revealed 1 participant with an abnormal EKG and 6 participants with abnormal echocardiograms who had no other abnormal findings at the screening. Findings were not statistically significant. Discussion: It was clinically significant that 6 participants were found to have potentially lethal electrical or structural heart abnormalities who would have otherwise remained unidentified with the standard PPS guidelines.