BCH Partnership with CU School of Medicine for Cardiac Screening

BCH Partnership with CU School of Medicine for Cardiac Screening


Sudden cardiac arrest is the most common
non-traumatic cause of death among college athletes. Recently, CU athlete
Kelsey Webster, an incoming freshman and women’s golf team member, went to a
routine CU Athletic Department physical exam. By the time she walked out she’d
been diagnosed with a potentially life-threatening congenital defect in
her heart.>>It was crazy to think that for 18 years I’ve been living something that
I had no idea that I had. It was, it’s crazy to think that I was doing that
much sprinting and putting that much stress on my heart and having no idea
that my heart did not want to do that and my heart was not set up for that. I
met with Dr. Oza about a week after the physical; sat down
with him and my parents and really discussed what our options were. I think
the part that made me realize that I wanted to do it was my mom asked Dr.
Oza if this was your daughter what would you do and he said within a half a
second he said I would have her do the procedure.>>We took Kelsey to the electrophysiology
laboratory where we put catheters through her leg into the heart and we
were able to see the electrical connection that connected the top and
the bottom of her heart on the left side of the heart.
So we crossed over from the right to the left side of the heart, found the area
that was causing the problem and did an ablation there. Ablation is basically
cauterizing a small part of the heart muscle to render it non-functional.>>Now
that I have the procedure done and you know I would say I’m back to a 100
percent, if not 110 percent better than I was before.>>Dr. Poddar and I began to
work together to try to develop a screening process for evaluating
students as they came to CU to participate in athletics. He was
interested in the process of screening. We were introduced by one of the former
trainers at CU and I was excited about the project as well and we started
screening the athletes back then and we’ve done it ever since. We want to screen these patients and athletes quickly because if they’re able
to participate we don’t want to hold them away from practice or training or
being able to play in games inappropriately and so we do have a
relationship that allows us early in the year in August and September often to
have extra clinic time that we have blocked so that we could see these
patients in a more timely manner.>>I think we’ve been pretty fortunate with the
relationship with our medical director Dr. Poddar and Dr. Doucet over the years to
come up with a program that does some pretty comprehensive cardiac screen on
all of our student athletes as they enter in the University of Colorado and
that’s only gotten bigger with the relationship with BCH as well.>>For more
information about the full range of Cardiology services available at Boulder
Community Health, visit bch.org/heart or call 303-442-2395.

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