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Soccer. Spend $50 to be sure that a kid will not die from a heart attack while playing? Are you out of your mind?

Please read this very informative article:

EKGs might save lives among young athletes By Kavita Mishra and Ilene Lelchuk. (San Francisco Chronicle)


In Italy, extensive medical testing of both youth and professional athletes
has nearly eliminated cases of sudden death during competition, reducing
the number by 90 percent since mandatory screening began in 1982.

In the United States, the same kind of advanced testing, involving an electrocardiogram and a heart ultrasound, is required of all pro athletes,
but not for youths who play sports.

What is expected of young athletes before they take the field varies.
Public schools in California and Pop Warner football leagues, for
instance, require simple physical exams, but the California Youth
Soccer Association North, with 218,000 players in Northern California
alone, doesn't require any kind of doctor's examination.

Rigorous advanced medical testing may or may not have prevented
the death Saturday of a 16-year-old Alameda student during an indoor
soccer game with Bladium Sports and Fitness Club, a private organization.
By late Monday, the Alameda County coroner had not determined why
Ifeanyi Ezeh died. The cause of death may not be known for weeks.

Experts say the most common reason for cases of sudden death in
athletes in the United States is a pre-existing heart problem or trauma
to the chest from forceful contact, like a head-butt or ball, both of which
can cause an arrhythmia, or abnormal beating pattern of the heart.
Sudden death in young athletes is extremely rare -- resulting in only
300 deaths a year out of an estimated 10 million to 15 million
participants in organized sports nationwide -- but the most likely culprit,
a genetic defect that can cause the heart to fail without notice, can be
found in 1 person out of every 500. One in 250 Italians has a similar
heart condition that causes most cases of sudden death in young
people there.

More than half of the cases of athletes who die while playing in the
United States is caused by hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a disease
caused by abnormal muscle cells in the heart, said Dr. Michael
Crawford, a UCSF cardiologist and member of the American Heart Association's Council on Clinical Cardiology.

In Italy, any athlete found to have a heart problem after testing is not
allowed to play, a 1982 policy that resulted in a decline in the number
of athletes who died during competition, said Dr. David Cannom, a
cardiologist at Good Samaritan Hospital in Los Angeles and an expert
in electrical physiology.

In the United States, however, the American Heart Association opposed
a proposal earlier this year to recommend electrocardiograms, said
Crawford, who was on the committee that made the decision. "We
don't have enough of a health care industry to do (EKGs) for the
millions of kids doing sports," Crawford said.

And, Crawford said, the group concluded the cost would be too high to
require an EKG for all athletes. An EKG costs about $50. If it detects
abnormal electrical activity in the heart, an ultrasound, or
echocardiogram, would follow. That test starts at around $200 to $250,
said Cannom, and can run as high as $1,000.

About 60 percent of all athletes have abnormal EKGs because of their
intense training, and it doesn't indicate a medical problem, said
Dr. Euan Ashley, director of Stanford's Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy
So instead of requiring an EKG, the American Heart Association
recommends that young athletes review their medical history annually
with a medical professional and a physical exam every two years,
Crawford said.
If in the course of a medical history it is revealed that a sudden
death has occurred in the athlete's family or the athlete has
developed symptoms, such as fainting, further testing will be done,
Crawford said.

But Cannom said the current screening practices are inadequate. He
said initial screening is often done by providers who are not doctors
and do not know how to diagnose murmurs and hypertrophic
cardiomyopathies correctly. In many cases, he added, follow-up
testing may not be done.
He and other experts started the Care Group, which hopes to fund
and lobby for EKG testing in all Division I and high school athletes.
"Any time one of these deaths come up, it's so heartbreaking,"
Cannom said. He said that automated external defibrillators on the
field and courtside have not been shown to save lives in sudden
death cases because they take too long to use. Early screening
and treatment, such as internal defibrillators, could prevent the
deaths and let athletes with heart conditions play.

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, which runs in families, can affect
individuals in different ways -- some may have symptoms like
shortness of breath, fainting or chest pain, others may have no
idea of the problem until they fall during physical activity, Ashley
said. A malformed protein in heart muscle changes the heart's
electrical activity. When a large stress like exercise is put on the
muscle, the heart's main chamber beats abnormally until blood can
no longer be pushed out to vital organs, such as the brain. "The main
pumping chamber just wobbles or fibrillates," Ashley said.
Unless a shock from a pacemaker or external defibrillator is rapidly
applied to the heart, the heart will continue to fail, he said.

By Kavita Mishra and Ilene Lelchuk. (San Francisco Chronicle)


WOW! Spend $50 for an electrocardiogram and a heart ultrasound to
be sure that a kid will not die from a heart attack while playing soccer?

Are you out of your mind? $50? Do you have any idea how much
gasoline we can put in the car for $50? Almost a full tank! So, please,
letís not joke with serious things like money!!!

And we (WE) really believe that we live in a civilized country? $50?


In Italy, THEY (notice that I didnít write WE) started in 1982, 25 years
ago, when Italy was considered a long way from being civilized.
Only pizza, mafia and mandolins! Basically what many still believe

Also please consider that in Italy, thereís will no problem of paying
the $50 or the $1000, because Ďthatí country, has a State provided
health care for all the inhabitants! So, whatís underlined above, is
not only mandatory. Itís FREE!

On June 13, I sent this email to the Chairman of CYSA North,
Mr. John Murphy.


Dear Mr. Murphy,

My name is Gianni Mininni and I'm a CYSA licensed D National coach.
I've also recently become part of the coaching staff. Considering that
you are on my mailing list, probably sometimes you've had the
opportunity to see my weekly news letter on Wednesdays from

In my weekly news letter of June 27 I'll reprint this article from
the Chronicle:

in which there was a clear remark made about the fact that the
CYSA doesn't require any kind of doctor's examination for the
218,000 kids who play soccer under the umbrella of the CYSA.
I think that it would be great for all of us to have a few words from
you about this accusation. I'll publish your words in the same
news letter.

Hope to hear from you.

Coach Gianni Mininni


This is the space for his answer!

I wrote the 13th and today is the 27th. So it was 2 weeks ago!
When I wrote to president Bush (by mail not email), he (or is staff)
wrote me back in 6 months!

Could 2 weeks be enough for the President of CYSA? Seems not!

And besides the fact that Iím a D National CYSA licensed coach
and part of CYSA Coaching staff (there are only 140 coaches on
the coaching staff in all of Northern California and less than 100
get a D National license every year!), through my weekly news
letter his reassuring words could have reached more than 4,600

So imagine if one of the parents of the 218,000 kids who play under
the CYSA writes to him! They could die in the mean time, for natural
causes, before hoping to have an answer!

I can accept almost ANYTHING from readers, except being ignored,
which makes me very mad!

Coach g.


P.S. In putting together this issue, my webmaster sent me this email:

Hi Gianni,

You might be interested to know that I have Hypertrophic
Cardiomyopathy. (The condition you talk about in this newsletter.)
I was only diagnosed as an adult after I fainted. I am very lucky nothing serious ever happened to me when I participated in high school sports.

Posted on 28 Jun 2007 by coachgianni
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