Philly's Top Doc's Organize to Help Prevent Young Athlete Deaths in Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA, June 3 /PRNewswire/ -- On June 7, 2008 the Philadelphia Physicians for Student Athletics (PPSA) will provide comprehensive physicals for student athletes in the Philadelphia School District. Student athletes in Pennsylvania are required to receive a physical to be eligible to compete in interscholastic activities. The standard physicals are a good step but may not be thorough enough to identify some potentially life-threatening conditions.

The 2008 program will perform over 1200 physicals on the Philadelphia Public, Charter and Parochial school athletes. The 200+ all-volunteer staff of doctors and nurses will review each athlete with the assistance of medical students from PCOM. The physicals are very thorough and consist of: prescreening and close review of medical history, general physical, Orthopedics, pulmonary review including a pulmonary function test (PFT), as well as an electrocardiogram (ECG/EKG) and if necessary an echocardiogram, which identify a number of life-threatening cardiac conditions that would not have been discovered in a standard sports physical. Each screening will take approximately 30 minutes per athlete.

"I don't want to see any child die from participating in interscholastic athletics," said Dr. Jerry Steingard, founder of the PPSA. "Many of the students that will receive our physicals do not have proper health insurance for proper physicals, and may not have had the opportunity to have serious medical conditions identified. I want to make that opportunity available to all students."

The School District Of Philadelphia supports the efforts of the PPSA, "The School District Of Philadelphia, its Athletic Directors, Coaches and I are extremely grateful to the PPSA and Dr. Steingard for organizing such an important medical service to our athletes. The physicals provided go above and beyond a normal sports physical and is a monumental step toward keeping our athletes safe and healthy at play, school and home," said Robert Coleman, Director of Athletics for the School District Of Philadelphia.

"We would not be able to offer this service to the athletes without the tremendous support from the medical community, especially from; The Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, The Sports Medicine and Performance Center at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Roxborough Memorial Hospital and Methodist Hospital. In addition, the Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation and Comcast Spectacor have donated the use of the Spectrum for the event. I can't forget Tony Lukes who supplied all the food and refreshment for the volunteers," said Steingard.

SOURCE Philadelphia Physicians for Student Athletics

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