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Detailed Medical History Important Part of Sports Physical

 

While the forms doctors fill out during an athlete's pre-participation physical evaluation or exam (PPE), here's what should be covered during the medical history part of any sports physical:

Heart

  • Personal Medical History
    • Has the child ever experienced:
      • Chest pain/discomfort with exercise?
      • Excessive, unexpected, or unexplained fatigue with exercise?
      • Excessive, unexpected, or unexplained shortness of breath with exercise? (Note: doctors don't always recognize this as a symptom of congenital heart disease, sometimes mistaking it for exercise-induced asthma. In one case, a 15-year-old boy was pulled out of a soccer game because of shortness of breath and later diagnosed with asthma. A month later, he suffered sudden cardiac death on a soccer field as a result of HCM)
      • Heart palpitations (heart races or skips beats) during exercise?
      • Past detection of a heart murmur or high blood pressure?
      • Unexplained fainting (syncope) or near fainting?

Skin (warts, fungus, blisters, boils or skin infections)

Neurologic (complete concussion history)

Heat illness

Asthma or Seasonal Allergies

  • Asthma should be suspected in any athlete with a history of wheezing during sports

Weight concerns (i.e. eating disorders)

Psychosocial Issues

Alcohol, drugs, tobacco, steroids, and/or sexual practice issues

Menstruation

  • Primary amenorrhea (absence of periods by age 16) or secondary amenorrhea (absence of period for more than three cycles) may Indicate the presence of the female athlete triad.

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