Sudden cardiac arrest claims 23 year old NY state trooper

Sudden cardiac arrest in an otherwise young and healthy individual strikes again.  Donald Fredenburg, 23 and in his second week of training at the NY state police academy collapsed and died after a training run on Friday March 13.  Academy staffers were able to use an external defibrillator to restart his heart, but he later died at the hospital due to the damage caused by the event.   This young man served 4 years in the marines and was on his way to becoming a NY state trooper.  An autopsy showed that he had a 95% blockage of one of his coronary arteries.  This is extremely rare in someone  so young, but it does happen.  If you are going to exercise and exert yourself, regardless of age, your heart should be properly checked by trained professionals who specialize in this.  With a 95% blocked coronary artery, any cardiac stress test could have detected this.  Mr. Fredenburg is said to have passed a vigorous fitness test in order to gain entrance in to the police academy a few weeks prior to his death.  This does not make his case confusing the way some media reports suggest.  A fitness test in NO WAY looks at your heart.  They are lucky he did not collapse and die during the fitness test.  Young people, especially young males will ignore the warning signs of an impending cardiac event. You CAN NOT trust that your athletic organization, or the police academy, or the military, or your health insurance company,or your government are looking out for you.  The current medical standard of care says that testing you properly is not cost effective.  I guarantee you and your family place a higher value on your life than those who do these calculations.

RIP Donald Fredenburg

RIP Donald Fredenburg


Do you know the most common heart conditions that lead to sudden cardiac arrest in athletes??

Let’s let our friends at Simon’s Fund help educate us on the most common heart conditions that cause SCA in student athletes.  Most of these conditions are easily identified with proper pre-participation heart screening.  Help spread the word and get our young screened properly!

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http://www.simonsfund.org/learn/conditions/

Do you know anyone who has lost a child to a heart condition while playing sports?


With March Madness Coming… news of a step in the right direction by the NCAA

March madness is almost here.  We are also at the 25 year anniversary of the tragic passing of Hank Gathers.  Arguably the most well known and publicized example of a student athlete death from sudden cardiac arrest, Hank passed away on March 4, 1990.  I was a sophomore in high school and basketball player.  I remember it very well.  It is so hard to imagine that 25 years later, as a country we are still not mandating proper heart testing to save the lives of the unfortunate with unknown heart conditions like Hank.

In 2013, the NCAA appointed its first ever chief medical officer, Brian Hainline.  Mr. Hainline seems to be moving in the right direction! The Wall Street Journal posted an article today about Mr. Hainline’s ambition to recommend EKG screening for the highest risk college athletes.  Basketball players fall into this category.  In honor of Hank Gathers, and the countless other lives lost, we really hope this reform is seen through.

Hank Gathers

Hank Gathers

http://www.wsj.com/articles/in-the-ncaa-a-push-to-reform-health-standards-1425414886


A great prescription

Today we came across a great book by a cardiologist in Oregon who uses all the proceeds of the book to conduct free heart screenings for kids. Bravo!! Dr. Beckerman’s practice emphasizes healthy lifestyle and nutrition with regular exercise as the foundation of good heart health. We couldn’t agree more!! Wonderful to see preventative cardiology promotion for adults, and also another great teammate in fighting sudden cardiac arrest in kids.

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“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