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ISMA Sports Medicine Commission offers tips for screening young athletes
e-Reports, May 16, 2011
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In March, a 16-year-old Michigan high school basketball star died of cardiac arrest after just completing a game-winning overtime shot. The athlete’s death was due to dilated cardiomyopathy – a condition often hard to detect.

 Dr. Simons
Stephen Simons, M.D., Chair
ISMA Commission on Sports Medicine

However, the unfortunate event is a reminder of the importance of comprehensive health screenings. Now is the time to make sure you have updated evaluation forms before young athletes seeking sports physicals begin to fill your offices this summer.

“At present, Indiana is complying with the American Heart Association’s (AHA) cardiac screening,” said Stephen Simons, M.D., chair of the ISMA Commission on Sports Medicine. “Also, the Indiana High School Athletic Association (IHSAA) screening form gives you questions to help determine if the athlete is at risk.”

Among a total 7.6 million high school and college athletes nationwide, an estimated 40-50 die each year from cardiac arrest.

Dr. Simons noted that the ISMA Commission on Sports Medicine supports the IHSAA and AHA health screening forms. For sports physicals, Dr. Simons suggests you:

  • Allow adequate time
  • Take a good medical history
  • Ask questions
  • Clarify answers

Download the latest IHSAA physical history evaluation form for high school and college athletes on the IHSAA website.

Read the AHA guidelines for pre-participation screening of athletes here.

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