American Medical Society for Sports Medicine
For Immediate Release Apr 17, 2015

Effectiveness of a Community-Based Pre-Participation Athletic ECG Screening Program at a Division-I Intercollegiate Program

Hollywood, FL. – April 17, 2015– Douglas Reeves, MD presented “Effectiveness of a Community-Based Pre-Participation Athletic ECG Screening Program at a Division-I Intercollegiate Program” today at the 24th Annual Meeting of the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine in Hollywood, FL. Dr. Reeves serves as team physician for Clemson University. 

The 2015 conference, with more than 1,500 sports medicine physicians attending from throughout the United States and around the world, explores current decisions, controversies and best practices related to return-to-play decision making that defines the clinical practice of sports medicine.

In this study, Dr. Reeves examined the cost and clinical implications of adding ECG screening to PPEs for intercollegiate athletes in a community based medical setting. ECG screening is being used by some universities to identify risk factors for sudden cardiac death in athletes, and this study evaluated the cost and feasibility for a Division-I university to do this in a community setting.  From 2011-2014, 648 athletes were screened at Clemson University.  Two local, community-based cardiologists interpreted the ECGs and the follow-up evaluations and costs were recorded. The cardiologists followed established, athlete based ECG interpretation criteria.

During the study, Dr. Reeves’s research team found that 7% of screening ECG’s were considered abnormal, with the highest rates among males and African-American collegiate athletes. Follow-up evaluations consisted of studies such as repeat ECG, transthoracic echocardiogram, or treadmill stress test. No abnormalities necessitated corrective procedures or disqualifications.  Mean cost per athlete screened was $107. The abnormal ECG rate and clinical evaluations including costs as determined by this community-based medical practice were consistent with reported literature.

At the conclusion of this study Dr. Reeves highlighted, “A good, cost-effective athletic cardiac screening program can be accomplished in a community setting. You don’t necessarily need a university based medical center. The key is to have good sports cardiologists working alongside with you.”

About the AMSSM Annual Meeting: The conference features lectures and research addressing the most challenging topics in sports medicine today including issues surrounding FIFA & soccer injuries, ACL injury prevention, cardiovascular disease, degenerative joint disease, the power of physical activity in maintaining a healthy population, baseball injuries, Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, sports ultrasound, pediatric sports medicine, groin pain/athletic pubalgia and provocative issues dealing with return-to-play decision making.

About the AMSSM: AMSSM is a multi-disciplinary organization of 2,700+ sports medicine physicians dedicated to education, research, advocacy and the care of athletes of all ages. The majority of AMSSM members are primary care physicians with fellowship training and added qualification in sports medicine who then combine their practice of sports medicine with their primary specialty. AMSSM includes members who specialize solely in non-surgical sports medicine and serve as team physicians at the youth level, NCAA, NFL, MLB, NBA, WNBA, MLS and NHL, as well as with Olympic teams. By nature of their training and experience, sports medicine physicians are ideally suited to provide comprehensive medical care for athletes, sports teams or active individuals who are simply looking to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

NOTE: For more information, please contact the AMSSM, 4000 W. 114th St., Suite 100, Leawood, KS 66211, (913) 327-1415.

© The American Medical Society for Sports Medicine
4000 W. 114th Street, Suite 100
Leawood, KS 66211
Phone: 913.327.1415

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