The Today Show did a nice segment today on whether it makes sense to screen the hearts of athletes. They spoke to Michele Snyer, a friend and parent who lost a daughter to sudden cardiac arrest. They covered a screening conduted by Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Michigan. They’ve screened 5,000 atheletes in their community and have saved lives. Then, the interview went south.
They interviewed Dr. Roshini Raj, a TODAY contributor as well as an assistant professor at the NYU School of Medicine. She is board certified in Gastroenterology and Internal Medicine. She stated that (1) the tests are too expensive; and (2) the tests are not accurate. She did not support her statements with any findings. It seems that these issues would have been better addressed by someone like Dr. David Haines, the Beaumont physician who is actually doing screenings, paying for them and witnessing the results. Simon’s Fund knows first hand, through our screenings, that ONE OUT OF EVERY 100 KIDS HAS A HIDDEN HEART CONDITION.
There are shortcomings with heart screenings, but they are no more significant than those associated with mammograms or other diagnostic tests. I think that both sides of the debate should be aired. However, it should be debated by professionals that first-hand knowledge of the facts. Remember, us laypeople are out here listening and this sh#t is confusing!