Monday, June 13, 2011

Checking young athletes' hearts

Seems that several times a year, in almost every locale, there is a story about a young person keeling over on the playing field.

Drs Oz and Roizen talked about that recently.

Sudden cardiac arrest—heart stopping—can occur in kids with an enlarged heart—not just the enlargement that comes from working out a lot, but a condition called hypertrophic myopathy.

Dehydration, esp in summer, can be a trigger. Be sure your child drinks plenty of water.

Buying the school a defibrillator ($1500) might also be good—or help raise money. Fifteen states require or encourage schools to get these.

Heart screening is expensive but could prevent 90% of these incidents. If they are offered in your area, take your kid.

Fainting, heart racing, chest pain—all these are red flags. Go to the doctor!

If a kid does collapse, act fast! Call 911. Start CPR. If there is a defibrillator--get it pronto (even though that is no cure-all). Act—don’t freeze.

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