Following the completion of a two year research programme in which nearly 300 GAA players were examined in an attempt to assess the effectiveness of various screening methods, the GAA’s Medical, Scientific & Welfare Committee updated its position paper on cardiac screening.
The GAA now advise that the most effective way to identify risk is for players over the age of 14 to undergo cardiac screening on one occasion. It is also advised that this process be repeated before the age of 25. Players should consult their team or family doctor if they wish to get screened and screening should consist of completion of the GAA’s Cardiac Screening Questionnaire, a Physical Examination and an ECG.
As part of its commitment in this context and to aid diagnosis, the GAA in conjunction with the Gaelic Players Association (GPA) have implemented a programme whereby any doctors carrying out a cardiac screening programme for a GAA player will be able to send that ECG to the cardiac department in the Mater under Dr. Joseph Galvin to have a sports cardiology opinion on the ECG.
In order to avail of this service, GP’s should contact Gearoid Devitt, the GAA’s Player Welfare Administrator in Croke Park (firstname.lastname@example.org or 01 865 8610).
The GAA’s defibrillator programme – initiated in 2005 – also continues to be rolled out. It has seen defibrillators made available in all County grounds as well as over 1,000 defibrillators being purchased by Clubs as part of a subsidised scheme set up by the Association and administered. Clubs who wish to purchase defibrillators can do so by contacting Gearoid Devitt.
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