Prevention and Management of Sudden Cardiac Death in Athletes

Journal of Clinical Orthopaedics | Vol 7 | Issue 2 |  Jul-Dec 2022 | page: 73-77 | Alwar Thiagarajan, Ayyadurai Prakash, Gopalakrishnan Janani, Rao Vikram, Sivaraman Arumugam

DOI: 10.13107/jcorth.2022.v07i02.535

Author: Alwar Thiagarajan [1], Ayyadurai Prakash [1], Gopalakrishnan Janani [1], Rao Vikram [1], Sivaraman Arumugam [1]

[1] Centre for Sports Science, Department of Arthroscopy and Sports Medicine, Sri Ramachandra Institute of Higher
Education and Research, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India.

Address of Correspondence
Dr. Ayyadurai Prakash,
Centre for Sports Science, Department of Arthroscopy and Sports Medicine, Sri Ramachandra Institute of Higher
Education and Research, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India.


Sudden cardiac death (SCD) is the biggest challenge of all sports emergencies, as it is the leading cause of preventable deaths in both professional and recreational athletes. There is also an ongoing concern about COVID-19-associated cardiac pathology among athletes because myocarditis is an important cause of SCD during exercise. Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy represents 24% of SCD and Sudden Unexplained Death (normal heart at autopsy) represents 34% of SCD. To make sports participation safer, it is important to synergistically combine primary prevention of SCD by pre-participation identification of athletes affected by at-risk cardiomyopathies and secondary prevention with backup defibrillation of unpredictable sudden cardiac arrest on the field. The prompt application of an automated external defibrillator itself is associated with a greater likelihood of survival. With the advancement in the field of sports cardiology, the implantation of implantable cardioverter defibrillator has been promising in getting the athlete back on the field including in contact sports. Hence, knowledge of primary and secondary prevention is of great importance in reducing the incidence of SCD as well as improvising existing strategies.

Keywords: Athlete’s heart, preparticipation cardiac screening, on-field death, cardiac arrest, ECG changes.


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How to Cite this article: Thiagarajan A, Prakash A, Janani G, Vikram R, Arumugam S. Prevention and Management of Sudden Cardiac Death in Athletes. Journal of Clinical Orthopaedics Jul-Dec 2022;7(2):73-77.

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