n South African Journal of Sports Medicine - Sudden cardiac arrest risk in young athletes : case study




Underlying cardiac abnormalities are the main cause of unexpected death in athletes on field. These abnormalities have been associated with a previous history of syncope, a family history of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA), cardiac murmur, a history of over-exhaustion post exercise and ventricular tachyarrhythmia during physical activity. The timely diagnosis of susceptible athletes may assist with an appropriate management plan for these individuals, and allow for the prevention of premature death in sport. A young football player was screened for SCA risk using the fundamental components of the pre-participation examination (PPE) - essentially, a medical history, a resting and stress electrocardiogram, and an echocardiogram to support clinical findings. The case is submitted with consideration of the applicable literature to accentuate the importance of using PPE to prevent SCA in young athletes.


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