Heart, blood conditions serious problems on sports field

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – The field, the court, and the mat are all vital parts of the high school experience outside the classroom, but doctors and athletic trainers warn some serious medical conditions could spell trouble for your student athlete if they remain unchecked.

"A big part of our job is prevention," said North Myrtle Beach High School Athletic Trainer Keeter Hayes. "Every kid is required to get a new physical every year."

Hayes says the mentality surrounding sports medicine usually stops at sprains or broken bones. While it's an important part of keeping students healthy, he and other trainers in Horry County also focus on cardiac conditions and sickle cell anemia.

Three serious athletic related injuries have occurred in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia in a little over a week. The most recent resulted in the death of 17-year-old Tavarius Hall as he practiced wrestling at Scotland High. Hall died of cardiac arrest, a condition which is often noticeable in a preventative sports physical.

"It'll ask questions like family history," Hayes said. "Have they ever had a condition where they passed out? They go to a doctor, and the doctor can determine that history."

Beach Urgent Care's Dr. Ron Reynolds says some of the biggest things to look for in sports physicals is whether or not students are in proper condition for that particular sport. He also looks for signs of recurring headaches or muscle pain.

"Those are signs that need to be made aware, not just to the doctor doing the physical, but also to the coaches and staff," Dr. Reynolds said.

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