Consensus Statement Offers Guidance on Preventing Sudden Cardiac Death in Athletes

A new consensus statement, published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, establishes guidance for conducting pre-participation screenings of college athletes and encourages emergency action plans for quickly responding to sudden cardiac arrest. The statement was developed by a 29-person task force convened by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) in September 2014 that included multidisciplinary physician specialists and athletic trainers representing national sports and medical associations, including the ACC. The NCAA currently requires every student-athlete to undergo a pre-participation evaluation that is conducted by a physician or doctor of osteopathic medicine prior to participation in any NCAA sport. The ACC and the American Heart Association (AHA) both recommend taking an athlete’s family history using the AHA’s 14-point questionnaire and conducting a physical examination to determine the athlete’s risk of cardiovascular disease before the athlete participates in sports. Read more on