SEARCH
« Stem Cells Offer New Hope for Heart Failure Patients | Main | Dental Screenings Linked to Lower Heart Disease, Stroke Risk »
Monday
Nov142011

Few Docs Follow Heart Attack Guidelines for Student Athletes

Jupiterimages/Thinsktock(SEATTLE) -- Sudden cardiac arrest deaths in otherwise healthy teens are usually triggered by an unknown heart condition.  While doctors have created screening guidelines for student athletes in an attempt to avoid such tragedies, perhaps the real tragedy is that few doctors actually follow these screening guidelines.

The new research, presented at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2011, found that fewer than 6 percent of doctors fully follow national guidelines for assessing sudden cardiac death risk during high school sports physical exams.

"Despite national guidelines that have existed unaltered for 15 years, those recommendations still have not reached the bedside for sudden cardiac arrest during sports physical screenings," said Dr. Nicolas Madsen, lead researcher and pediatric cardiology fellow at Seattle Children's Hospital and the University of Washington School of Medicine.

More than 1,100 family doctors and pediatricians were surveyed in the study.  Less than half of physicians and only 6 percent of the 317 athletic directors questioned were aware of the national guidelines, which were published in 1996 by the American Heart Association. The guidelines consist of physical exam elements, including listening to the heart and checking blood pressure, along with eight medical history questions.

"We should really begin to implement policies such that sports physical recommendations is freely available to the public," said Madsen.  "It's clear that physicians are interested in figuring out how to get to a screening approach in the best way, that maximizes the potential for maximizing each patient visit and streamlines financing."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Post:
 
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>






ABC News Radio