Should We Test Athletes

Gaines Adams did not have an electrocardiogram or echocardiogram as part of his medical pre-screening as an athlete at Clemson, where he was a star defensive lineman from 2003-06. He died Jan. 17 of sudden cardiac arrest after completing his second season in the NFL.

Adams’ death once again stirred the debate on whether athletes at all levels are getting the type of medical screening that would prevent sudden deaths from heart-related problems. And once again, school administrators and doctors do not agree on merits of the tests or procedures.

A survey conducted by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution revealed that Clemson is one of eight of the 24 schools in the ACC and SEC that do not provide EKGs and/or ECHOs as part of pre-screening for athletes.

Boston College, Duke, Clemson, Kentucky, Maryland, South Carolina, Wake Forest and Virginia Tech provide a thorough questionnaire and physician’s exam during the pre-screening process for incoming athletes, but do not offer EKGs or ECHOs.

But should they?

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