Another sad story we’ve seen this week

This is why heart screening should be a part of sports physicals and mandatory for all student athletes. Initial autopsy reports indicate no known cause of death, or natural causes. Being very clear, this means it was sudden cardiac arrest almost certainly from an electrical abnormality of the heart rhythm.  These electrical abnormalities can be easily detected with an EKG. An EKG is not part of a standard sports physical for participation in high school or college sports. Organizations around the country are working very hard to change this. We urge all parents to not accept the current sports physical standard and seek appropriate heart screening for their children.

http://usatodayhss.com/2015/16-year-old-soccer-player-in-south-carolina-dies-on-first-day-of-practice

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3202399/South-Carolina-16-year-old-collapses-dies-soccer-practice-season.html

image

For more information visit Athlete Heart Shield online.


The NFL is at it, again!

Please read this very good article written by Phyllis Sudman of Simon’s Fund for the Huffington Post. Simon’s Fund is a great teammate in the movement to better standardized sports physicals for athletes and include proper heart screening.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/phyllis-sudman/the-nfl-is-at-it-again_b_7646658.html

To learn more about sudden cardiac arrest in young athletes visit Athlete Heart Shield.


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


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.

Donate Below To Help Us Save Lives

Donate Button with Credit Cards


“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.


“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.