This is sad. Do we really need to litigate for change? The following article shows that of the 108 deaths of NCAA athletes from 1982 – 2008 (documented by the National Center for Catastrophic Sports Injury Research), 65% of them were heart related. This means that they could have been prevented by a simple and cheap ECG exam. The NCAA chooses not to screen the hearts of athletes.
However, the NCAA was recently for sued over the death of an athlete from a genetic sickle cell trait. Some schools screen for this – Rice University did not. As a result of the lawsuit, the NCAA tests for this sickle cell trait. The sickle cell trait was responsible for 10% of deaths during this same period (1982 – 2008). Like an ECG exam, the test for sickle cell is inexpensive ($10).
Do we really have to litigate for change or can we just take practical and inexpensive measures to protect the lives of our young athletes?
By the way, how is this for a stat . . . Italy screens the hearts of all of its young athletes. They have reduced the incidents of sudden cardiac death by 89%.