More athletes die from sudden cardiac arrest than sport trauma

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COLUMBIA- According to The National Center for Catastrophic Sport Injury Research database, more athletes die from sudden cardiac arrest than from sport related trauma.  

Both The American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology oppose wide-scale EKG screenings because of the likelihood of false positives and false negatives.  EKGS have been found to miss problems such as coronary anomalies.  Coronary anomalies are the second leading cause of sudden cardiac arrest.

Deaths from sudden cardiac arrest are more common in males than females.  

The American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology suggest a 14-point questionnaire.  The questionnaire asks athletes about symptoms and their family history.

The Missouri State High School Activities Association uses a similar questionnaire as part of their pre-participation physical evaluation.  Every student athlete in the Columbia Public Schools district must complete a pre-partiticipation physical evaluation before attending any practice or competition.  

Stefanie West, a certified athletic trainer with Columbia Public Schools said it's in the pre-participation physical evaluation they look for at risk athletes.  

"If there are athletes with high blood pressure or red flags in that family history, those are the athletes they send on for further testing.  It's not usually a cardiologist doing the physical so if an athlete is at risk they need a full work up with a specialist" West said.

West said it's important an adult is filling out the history form on the pre-participation physical evaluation. 

"The main red flag for sudden cardiac arrest is family history.  That's the main screening tool we use.  It's important an adult fills it out because the high school athlete might not know that grandpa died of a heart attack at 40 years old."