Cardiovascular Care of College Student-Athletes

Hainline B, Drezner JA, Baggish A, et al.
Interassociation Consensus Statement on Cardiovascular Care of College Student-Athletes. J Am Coll Cardiol 2016;April 15:[Epub ahead of print].

The following are key points to remember about this consensus statement on cardiovascular care of college student-athletes, developed by a National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) multidisciplinary task force:

  1. Cardiovascular evaluation and care of college student-athletes is gaining increasing attention from both the public and medical communities.
  2. Emerging strategies include screening of the general athlete population, recommendations of permissible levels of participation by athletes with identified cardiovascular conditions, and preparation for responding to unanticipated cardiac events in athletic venues.
  3. Cardiovascular screening in athletes should include a standardized personal and family history and a physical examination.
  4. Electrocardiogram (ECG) screening can increase the sensitivity to detect potentially lethal cardiac conditions if physician training is improved and cardiology expertise is available.
  5. If ECG screening is used, ECGs should be interpreted with modern standards that distinguish physiological changes from findings associated with pathological cardiac disorders.
  6. In addition, secondary testing of screening abnormalities and management of identified cardiac disorders should be carried out in consultation with skilled cardiovascular specialists.
  7. Together, NCAA member institutions have an opportunity to train coaching staff, referees, and student-athletes to recognize and respond to a cardiac emergency on the field and in the community, and to become cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) ambassadors between the athletic programs and the larger student population.
  8. Management of cardiac arrest with prompt recognition, early activation of the emergency response system, early CPR, and early use of an automated external defibrillator (AED) provides the best chance of survival as in any arrest situation.

Clinical Topics: Arrhythmias and Clinical EP, Prevention, Sports and Exercise Cardiology, Implantable Devices, SCD/Ventricular Arrhythmias, Atrial Fibrillation/Supraventricular Arrhythmias

Keywords: Arrhythmias, Cardiac, Athletes, Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation, Cardiovascular Diseases, Electrocardiography, Defibrillators, Heart Arrest, Physical Examination, Primary Prevention, Referral and Consultation, Sports, Students

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