Over the weekend, as Parent Heart Watch, an organization made up of parents that have lost children to sudden cardiac arrest, met for their fifth annual conference, two young athletes died from sudden cardiac arrest.
Jeron Lewis, a basketball player at Southern Indiana, collapse and died on the court on Thursday, January 14. Gaines Adams, a defensive lineman for the Chicago Bears, died on Sunday, January 17. Both young men had an enlarged heart. This condition is called cardiomyopathy.
Cardiomyopathy is the number one killer of young athletes. It is also detectable with an ECG exam. The death of these young men is tragic. It is more tragic that their deaths were preventable with cheap test. We perform tests for all sorts of rare genetic diseases. We don’t check the heart.
The naysayers of heart screenings think that heart screenings are not cost effective or efficient. They claim that sudden death in athletes is rare – like lightening strikes.
Well, lightening just struck twice and two more kids are dead.