Health Care thought: Cost versus Benefit
Sixteen year old Wes Leonard made a dramatic last second shot to win a tournament game for Fenville High School in Michigan.
Then he fell on the floor and died from cardiac arrest due to an enlarged heart.
Every year young athletes die during and after games, many in basketball games, many from cardiac arrhythmia . Although the absolute numbers appear to be very small, the tragedy of a young person dying in front of a crowd is almost too much to bear.
So, should every high school athlete, or at least every basketball athlete (the pace of the game is torrid) have an EKG before the season begins? Many sports physicals are done at little or no cost by physicians in the community, but mandatory EKGs would be costly even if done at no charge to the athlete.
Would this be a good use of our resources? Who should decide?
(free advice: If you have a high performance student athlete pay for a thorough physical and have a discussion with the physician on the advisability of an EKG.)
Tom aka Rusty Rustbelt