Before reaching for tests like EKGs to screen teen athletes, we should first ask ourselves if we’ve taken a careful history:
The new study consisted of Madsen and his fellow researchers sending out surveys to every pediatrician and family practice doctor in Washington State. They received a good response–surveys were returned by 72 percent of pediatricians and 56 percent of family practitioners.
The results were disheartening:
- 28 percent of doctors surveyed failed to always ask if a teen experienced chest pain during exercise.
- 22 percent of doctors surveyed failed to always ask if the teen ever fainted without a known cause or explanation.
- 26 percent of doctors surveyed failed to always ask about early deaths in their family history.
- 67 percent failed to always ask about heart disease in their family history.
Dr. Gaurav Arora, associate director of electrophysiology at the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh and an assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of Pittsburgh, was surprised to see the number of physicians in the new study who said they didn’t ask every teen athlete about fainting or chest pain. He said, “Those are red flags in young athletes.”
*This blog post was originally published at Dr. Wes*