Sudden death in young athletes

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Q:

My grandson has a bicuspid heart valve.he is very active..wants to be on the football team. the coach is really encouraging him to join.iam very worried that something will happen . the whole summer is mainly practice. not much of a break. in fifth grade the coach almost caused him to pass out due to running.please let me know if its safe for him to play football.

A:

Apart from an injury, one of the risks for young athletes is sudden cardiac death due to a previously unknown cardiac defect. Sudden cardiac death occurs in approximately 25 high school and college students/year in the United States (thus a very rare event). Suspected patients should be screened if the following is present:
• Exertional Chest Pain
• Syncope and Pre-syncope (during Exercise)
• Past History of murmur
• Family History of premature death (sudden)
ECG, ECHO Exercise Test are indicated in specific situations, most often in consultation with a pediatric cardiologist.
Since your grandson has already been diagnosed with an abnormal aortic valve (that may be functioning perfectly well), I recommend that he be screened by a cardiologist beforehand.
You can read more here:
http://www.cardiac-risk-assessment.com/heart-information/valve-disease/bicuspid-
http://www.cardiac-risk-assessment.com/heart-information/heart-arrhythmia/sudden
http://www.cardiac-risk-assessment.com/heart-information/heart-arrhythmia/sudden
Hope this helps,
Dr T
http://www.cardiac-risk-assessment.com/

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