“An otherwise healthy 18 year old…”

How many times do we see this same terminology start out the news article describing the tragic loss of a young athlete?  It is all too familiar.  It is also all too frustrating for medical professionals who know the truth on how and why these tragedies occur.  In the case of Patrick Awosogba, 18 year old Rutgers student who collapsed and died during a game of pick up basketball, it is believed that he may have died from an undetected heart condition known as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM).

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HCM is the leading cause of sudden cardiac arrest in the young while playing sports.  While we won’t know for sure about Patrick until the autopsy is performed, we do know that research shows about 1 in 500 people will develop HCM.  While this may seem very rare, consider this… there were 8.5million student athletes in the United States in the year 2014.  Some simple math tells us that there were also 17,000 otherwise healthy student athletes at very real risk of sudden cardiac arrest and death.  To me, it is unacceptable to roll the dice on the lives of that many futures of promising young students.  If we consider the rest of our young, not official student athletes, but still exercising and exerting themselves, the numbers at risk become staggering.

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy develops mostly during the adolescent years into early adulthood.  It is crucial to have the hearts of young athletes checked during this time period.  One day proper heart screening WILL BE STANDARD in the US, until that day please have your sons and daughters hearts checked out by an organization that offers comprehensive heart screenings that include an EKG and possible echocardiogram (ultrasound of the heart).  These simple, painless exams will find a hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, and possibly save the life of your loved one.

P.S. Using the phrase “otherwise healthy” to describe someone that had a deadly heart condition, albeit undetected, is akin to saying the Titanic had a great trip across the ocean, except for that one undetected iceberg… the simple fact is the heart condition was there, and it was easier to find and avoid than the most infamous iceberg of all time.


“An otherwise healthy 18 year old…”

How many times do we see this same terminology start out the news article describing the tragic loss of a young athlete?  It is all too familiar.  It is also all too frustrating for medical professionals who know the truth on how and why these tragedies occur.  In the case of Patrick Awosogba, 18 year old Rutgers student who collapsed and died during a game of pick up basketball, it is believed that he may have died from an undetected heart condition known as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM).

17096278-mmmain

HCM is the leading cause of sudden cardiac arrest in the young while playing sports.  While we won’t know for sure about Patrick until the autopsy is performed, we do know that research shows about 1 in 500 people will develop HCM.  While this may seem very rare, consider this… there were 8.5million student athletes in the United States in the year 2014.  Some simple math tells us that there were also 17,000 otherwise healthy student athletes at very real risk of sudden cardiac arrest and death.  To me, it is unacceptable to roll the dice on the lives of that many futures of promising young students.  If we consider the rest of our young, not official student athletes, but still exercising and exerting themselves, the numbers at risk become staggering.

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy develops mostly during the adolescent years into early adulthood.  It is crucial to have the hearts of young athletes checked during this time period.  One day proper heart screening WILL BE STANDARD in the US, until that day please have your sons and daughters hearts checked out by an organization that offers comprehensive heart screenings that include an EKG and possible echocardiogram (ultrasound of the heart).  These simple, painless exams will find a hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, and possibly save the life of your loved one.

P.S. Using the phrase “otherwise healthy” to describe someone that had a deadly heart condition, albeit undetected, is akin to saying the Titanic had a great trip across the ocean, except for that one undetected iceberg… the simple fact is the heart condition was there, and it was easier to find and avoid than the most infamous iceberg of all time.


February is American Heart Month – let’s help recognize that kids hearts are important too!

At the forefront of the battle to raise awareness of the conditions that lead to sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) in children are Phyllis and Darren Sudman, co-founders of Simon’s Fund. Simon’s Fund is an amazing organization, making real change in the medical culture, and for her part, Phyllis was just recognized as the 2014 L’Oreal Woman of Worth winner. Phyllis is also a contributor to the Huffington Post, she wrote a great article called Go Krimson for Kids, highlighting our need to adjust our focus on heart conditions to include our young, as well as our old.  Proper, heart focused, check ups and screenings can not only detect possibly deadly heart conditions, but also give us an opportunity to educate and keep our young healthy into adulthood.  By finding simple things like high blood pressure or cholesterol early in life, we can greatly improve lives into adulthood by simply focusing on prevention. The changes you can make to prevent heart disease are much easier, less painful, rewarding, etc.. than the changes you will endure later in life after you have already developed heart disease. Please take two minutes to read Go Krimson for kids, American Heart Month is for kids too!

Because your heart doesn't just belong to you!

To learn more about Phyllis and Simon’s Fund, please visit www.simonsfund.org

To register for a heart screening with Cardiovascular Imaging Partners, please go to www.vipheartscreen.com


A great teammate in the battle to raise awareness of Sudden Cardiac Arrest in athletes

Jonathan Drezner MD is a University of Washington physician, he is also one of the team physicians for the Seattle Seahawks.  Most importantly to us he is a VIP player in the fight against sudden cardiac arrest in young athletes!  Dr. Drezner and the University of Washington have just opened a state of the art sports medicine center inside Husky stadium, part of what they now offer are heart screenings for young athletes.  Dr. Drezner was part of the group of worldwide medical leaders who collaborated to create the “Seattle Criteria”.  The Seattle criteria creates is a highly specialized way for physicians to interpret the electrocardiograms of young, highly trained athletes.  The criteria are highly sensitive to find conditions that may lead to SCA, while helping to eliminate “false positive” results that are common among athletes.  Our cardiologists in the VIPHeartScreen program use these same criteria. Please watch and share this amazing video Dr. Drezner has created to raise awareness about sudden cardiac arrest.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wo0vIR17XHY&feature=youtu.be

Helping athletes is not just about treating injuries on the field.


Every 2-3 days in the United States we tragically lose a student athlete to sudden cardiac arrest.

New research shows sudden cardiac arrest under the age of 25 is much more common than previously thought. SCA in youths is not the same as what you know it to be in our aging population. The underlying conditions that cause SCA can usually be detected with proper awareness and heart screening. Currently, insurances do not pay for proper heart screening, thus medical institutions do not offer them. Cardiovascular Imaging Partners and friends like Simon’s Fund and the Athlete Health Organization are working hard to change the current standard of care and force legislative changes to protect our youth.  We are also offering heart screenings for kids so we do not lose those who are most important to us. Stories like this are all too common, we are working hard to make them uncommon.

Cardiac Arrest in Sports, Real-life tragic stories highlight the need for education and prevention

Visit Cardiovascular Imaging Partners online and register to have your heart checked at http:// www.athleteheartshield.com