Sudden Cardiac Arrest in Young Athletes


PT 6-10-13 Heat and Sports

By all accounts, Wes Leonard was the All-American boy. A scholar in the classroom and a star on the basketball court, Wes, a 16-year-old student at Fennville High School in Michigan, was the most popular kid in school. He wasn’t an average kid – he stood out in so many ways. And on March 3, 2011, those who knew him painfully came to learn that he was different in one other tragic way.

Wes suffered from hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, an undetected condition that caused him to collapse on the court just moments after scoring the winning basket in overtime to cap a perfect season. Wes died of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA).

Of all the possible injuries and illnesses that can occur among the physically active population, cardiovascular emergencies can be the most devastating. For decades, the concerns about cardiovascular emergencies and sudden cardiac arrest in the physically active were generally limited to those with known risk factors such as age, obesity, lifestyle habits, diet, and pre-existing cardiovascular disease or congenital abnormalities.

Read more of this article by Robb S. Rehberg, PhD, ATC, NREMT , SSI Executive Director, at  Advance for Physical Therapy and Rehab Medicine


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