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Doctors Urge Parents, Coaches, Young Athletes to Advocate for Player Health

Doctors urge parents, coaches, young athletes to advocate for player health

Rare, but life-threatening. Doctors have a warning for parents as kids kick-off the Fall sports season.

When you think about common sport injuries, most things that come to mind are bruising, sprains, breaks or concussions. All scary, but all treatable.

Dr. Derek Williams is the Chief of Pediatric Cardiology at Brenner Children’s Hospital. He’s urging parents and coaches to talk with kids about the risk of “Sudden Cardiac Death.”

“I think the big thing is telling our students that we need to be honest and open with some of the things you’re feeling while they’re playing sports,” Dr. Williams said. “One of the big risks would be if during a competition, you’re feeling dizzy, certainly if you ever pass out, that would be a huge red flag.”

Dr. Williams said young athletes need to be their own advocates. Speak up if you experience chest pain or shortness of breath.

The best preventative measures for SCD are a thorough physical exam, a medical and family history. Dr. Williams said other countries screen with electrocardiograms, or EKG’s, but that’s controversial.

“They can come back falsely positive,” he said. “In our own practice, we see patients that have been screened in a routine sports physical with an EKG that is positive so at that point, they can’t play sports until they see us and get cleared. Obviously, the families that come and students, come with a lot of anxiety – what’s wrong with me? – and in a great majority of cases, actually nothing. We do have further testing to find out that they’re indeed fine to play.”

Even with this testing, Dr. Williams said you can never be 100-percent sure. He suggests putting life-saving tools nearby, whether at practice or a game.

“Having an Automatic Defibrillator somewhere around the field in the rare case that someone does have a sudden death event, there’s a chance that those defibrillators can bring someone back and then we can diagnose them and treat them properly,” he said.

Story Credit: https://www.wxii12.com/article/doctors-urge-parents-coaches-young-athletes-to-advocate-for-player-health/22765224

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