Cardiologist Dr. Michael Hibbard with North Central Heart.
Cardiologist Dr. Michael Hibbard with North Central Heart says, "Sudden death in athletes happens very rarely. It's a rare situation but it gets a lot of press because usually these young people are snatched away from the future they have. It happens perhaps 1 in a million. It's 10 times more common in boys than girls and most frequently associated with sports like football and basketball.
Q: Do you recommend athletes get EKG's done?
A: That is a very controversial topic right now Nancy. There is not a very good standard for what constitutes normal. When you look at in the United States regulations they usually recommend not getting EKGs. The European Association of Cardiology recommends getting EKGs and so does the International Olympic Society. The problem is we look at white Anglo-Saxon and what is normal for them. When you look at blacks, Asians, the international community and take them in to account... we have all different sizes and all different shapes and what constitutes normal is a very complicated answer.
Q: Obviously you are an advocate for Automated External Defibrillators?
A: Having ways to bail yourself out if you get in to one of these rare problems, I am very much in favor of having AEDs at all athletic events."
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