New research was presented at AAP 2020, the 2020 American Academy of Pediatrics Virtual National Conference & Exhibition, from October 2-5. The features below highlight some of the studies emerging from the conference that focused on emergency medicine.
Research suggests that one in 40,000 children will experience sudden cardiac arrest that that one in five have the gene predisposing them to it. While no nation-wide mandate requires ECG screening for school athletes, some states have recently passed laws doing so. With critics of pre-sports ECG screening arguing it can be costly and carries a high false-positive rate for the relatively low rate of sudden cardiac arrest, study investigators tested the feasibility of implementing large-scale ECG screening before high school sport participation among 5,877 middle and high school students across 32 schools in Brevard County, FL. ECGs were provided by a nonprofit organization for $20, three local pediatric cardiologists volunteered to read and refer abnormal screens, and follow-up care was offered at a free cardiology clinic for families who were un- or underinsured. ECG screening detected abnormalities requiring follow-up care in 3% of students and critical heart disease carrying a risk for sudden cardiac death in 0.1%. ECG screenings also detected conduction delays (27%), arrhythmias (25%), ventricular hypertrophy (13%), ST or T-wave abnormalities (11%), prolonged QTc intervals (8%), Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome (6%), and axis deviation (4%).