Health Watch - School's Out: ECG Screening

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This week on Health Watch, we’re talking about things parents need to think about while kids are out of school for the summer. Previously, we discussed the importance of physical exams for kids participating in sports. Should an electrocardiogram be part of this screening?

When a seemingly healthy child or teenager has a sudden heart attack at an athletic event, it attracts a lot of attention. Some doctors have recommended that all young athletes be screened to detect any heart abnormalities that might cause a heart attack. Dr. Benjamin Levine, a cardiologist at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says while this approach might discover some young people who might be at risk, it’s less clear what doctors should do about these patients. Children who have abnormalities but don’t have symptoms might not be allowed to participate in sports, but it’s not clear if that will actually make them any safer.

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June 2011

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