60 Minutes Sports on EKG Screening for Athletes
60 Minutes Sports produced a detailed and thoughtful piece on the role of EKG screening to protect college athletes in particular and young adults in general. Unfortunately, this aired on Showtime, so it is not readily available. Just like quality EKG tests for young adults. Oh boy.
Their feature interwove personal stories of loss, such as Hank Gathers collapsing and dying on the basketball court, with the hopeful message of the benefit of EKG screening to reduce these deaths. They noted advances in EKG screening technology and interpretation that could be implemented on a wider scale to reduce deaths to hidden heart conditions if only mainstream medicine could get with the program. If we, a small nonprofit, can afford all the latest equipment and implement the highest standards profiled in this program, why aren’t cardiologists everywhere adding this to their repertoire?
A most tantalizing ending! Dr. Brian Hainline of the NCAA, who previously suffered whiplash last year from his quick 180 degree change in recommending EKGs for high-risk athletes, concluded the show saying cardiac screening of NCAA athletes will be radically different a year from now. We can only hope.