Answers to Athletes and Sudden Cardiac Arrest

Premier Health providers and athletic trainers answer frequently asked questions about sudden cardiac arrest.

Can you identify cardiac issues through auscultation, blood pressure and pulse rate?

Dr. Jeffrey James discusses what heart sounds and basic screening can reveal for high school and college athletes. Click play to watch the video or read the transcript.


There are some findings, such as heart murmurs and abnormal pulses, that we cannot always pick up through the primary cardiac exam. We try to find those signs on the history that we get from the patient. Do they have any history of syncope or passing out during or after activity? Do they have any strong family history of cardiac disease? Do they have any family members who died suddenly of heart-related issues or unknown death, particularly at a young age — younger than 40 or 50 years old? Do they have any history of heart murmurs that a pediatrician or family doctor picked up in previous years? Do they or any family members have any history of abnormal heart rhythms or beats? There are a lot of different parts to the physical exam and the history that can help point us to some of these different pathologies. 

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Chelsea L. Gilliam, APRN-CNP, AGACNP-BC

Piqua Family Practice

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Source: Michael W. Barrow, MD, Samaritan North Family Physicians; American Heart Association; National Institutes of Health; Nik Berger, MS, AT, ATC, Premier Health Sports Medicine – Miami Valley Hospital South; Jeffrey James, DO, Premier Orthopedics; Sean Convery, MD, Premier Orthopedics; Jeffrey Rayborn, MD, Premier Orthopedics