Monday, February 3, 2014

ECG can be a marker for future sudden cardiac death

All school children enrolling for competitive games should have their ECG done.

Padma Shri & Dr. B C Roy National Awardee, Dr. K K Aggarwal, President Heart Care Foundation of India, said that routine ECG, if read correctly, can be used as a marker for sudden cardiac death, especially in children.

Dr. Aggarwal who is also Senior vice President, Indian Medical Association, said that all children being recruited for competitive sports should have their resting ECG done. ECG consists of wave which need to be interpreted by the doctors.

The Width of the wave called QRS duration is something which can be picked up even by inexperienced doctors and  nurses. A QRS width duration of more than 120 micro seconds in adults and 100 micro seconds in children 4-16 years and more than 90 micro seconds in children less than 4 years of age should warrant a specialized opinion.

Any heart rate of less than 60 or more than 100 per minute should also warrant, a further evaluation, especially if it is associated with wide QRS duration, as mentioned above. The heart rhythm should be regular and any irregularity should be evaluated.

Missing beats is a common occurrence but if a person misses his beat on exercise, it may be a sign of underlying heart blockages. In children, one should also look for QT prolongation in the ECG and if it is prolonged, it is a matter of concern. 

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