ECG Summit in Seattle: Successes and Next Steps

Incorrect interpretation of ECG leading to death is every clinician’s nightmare. Rare but frightening. But what is ‘correct’ interpretation in some settings? What do certain variations in ECG tracings mean? Sinister or sublime?

To address the controversies in ECG interpretation in athletes, leaders in the field held an ECG Summit in Seattle. The goal –  to improve the cardiac care of athletes and better identify those at risk of sudden cardiac death.

An historic occasion 2012 ECG Summit Participants - Photo by Dr. Ashwin Rao

BJSM congratulates the multidisciplinary collaboration – such shared initiatives are all too rare in medicine. Representatives from the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine (AMSSM) partnered with the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) Sports Cardiology Section, the Pediatric & Congenital Electrophysiology Society (PACES), other leading U.S. cardiologists, and the FIFA Medical Assessment and Research Center (F-MARC). The explicit goal –  “to define ECG interpretation standards in athletes and develop a comprehensive online training module for physicians around the world to gain expertise in ECG interpretation and the proper evaluation of ECG abnormalities suggestive of a pathologic cardiovascular disorder.”

The clinical community waits with bated breath for the conclusions so they can be implemented to help patients. BJSM is pleased to facilitate as an information channel – in print, digital media, video and podcasts.

Read more on the ECG summit here.

Among the many practical, effective, and groundbreaking ideas discussed at the Summit, one with global impact will the online training module. Collaborators will translate the ECG interpretation standards consensus recommendations into a comprehensive online training module hosted by British Medical Journal (BMJ) Learning. BMJ Learning is an international leader in e-learning so adds great expertise in translating the Summit lessons to the clinicians who will implement the new practice.

The American Medical Society for Sports Medicine reports : “the E-learning resource will be freely accessible to any physician world-wide and help create a larger physician infrastructure that is skilled and capable of accurate ECG interpretation in athletes. Improved ECG interpretation may identify athletes with at-risk disorders and help prevent sudden death in sport. “

Watch this space for updates on the release of this material – it is tentatively scheduled for late 2012.

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