Newswise — The Center for Sports Cardiology at the University of Washington in collaboration with the Australasian College of Sport and Exercise Physicians (ACSEP) is excited to offer open access worldwide to a new collection of six online electrocardiogram (ECG) training modules. These are based on the ‘International criteria’ and the latest consensus recommendations for ECG interpretation in athletes. The development of the modules was supported in part from educational grants provided by the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine (AMSSM) and the National Collegiate Athletic Association.

“There is clearly an educational gap in both sports medicine and cardiology training regarding ECG interpretation in athletes,” said Jonathan Drezner, MD, a Professor at the University of Washington and past AMSSM President, who led the development of the modules. “I hope these new training modules, based on the International criteria, provide an important step to improve the cardiovascular care of athletes and become fundamental training for sports physicians.“

These updated training modules build upon the original ECG interpretation training modules that launched in 2013. More than 60,000 of those modules were completed by physicians from 138 countries. Like the 2013 modules, these new training modules are freely available to any clinician around the globe. ECG increases the detection of cardiac disorders predisposing to sudden cardiac death, the leading cause of athlete fatalities during sports participation.

“We realize this was a HUGE undertaking and appreciate Jon’s vision to make these resources free to physicians worldwide,” said AMSSM President Chad Asplund, MD, MPH. “It’s exciting to see this project grow into a multi-organizational, global effort over the past 6 years. We’re thankful that Jon had this vision years ago and to have such a fantastic free resource available to AMSSM members and the wider global community.”

ECG interpretation is a fundamental skill for all clinicians responsible for the cardiovascular care of athletes. The ECG modules are based on the 2017 ‘International criteria’ and the latest consensus standards for interpretation of an athlete’s ECG. The training course includes 6 modules aimed to help the clinician distinguish normal physiologic ECG findings from ECG abnormalities requiring more investigation. Importantly, the modules provide recommendations for the secondary testing of each specific ECG abnormality to evaluate for the presence of underlying cardiac pathology. The complete training course includes:

1. Basic ECG interpretation in athletes (post-test 1)

2. Normal ECG findings in athletes

3. ECG abnormalities in cardiomyopathy

4. ECG abnormalities in primary electrical disease

5. ECG interpretation challenges and common pitfalls

6. Advanced ECG interpretation in athletes (post-test 6)

AMSSM members and other physicians from around the world can access the modules at: https://uwsportscardiology.org/e-academy

“I am grateful to AMSSM for supporting our ECG summits in 2012 and 2015 which led to the Seattle and International criteria, and I am grateful to ACSEP for partnering in the creation of new, updated and state-of-the-art ECG training modules,” said Drezner. “Special thanks to Di Robinson and Dan Exeter for their collaboration on the project, and to Kymberleigh Bray for her brilliance in E-learning design.  The expertise at the ECG summit meetings and evolving scientific evidence readily improved the accuracy of our ECG interpretation standards, and personally I have learned a lot and am thankful to my colleagues for this tremendous global collaboration.” 

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About AMSSM
AMSSM is a multi-disciplinary organization of sports medicine physicians whose members are dedicated to education, research, advocacy, and the care of athletes of all ages. Founded in 1991, the AMSSM is now comprised of more than 3,800 sports medicine physicians whose goal is to provide a link between the rapidly expanding core of knowledge related to sports medicine and its application to patients in a clinical setting. www.amssm.org 

About the UW Medicine Center for Sports Cardiology

The mission of the Center for Sports Cardiology is to transform the delivery of cardiovascular care in athletes to promote safe athletic participation. Through clinical consultation and advanced heart screening, improved emergency planning, scientific research, community outreach and education, our goal is to promote cardiovascular health and prevent sudden cardiac death in sports and exercise.

About ACSEP

ACSEP is the pre-eminent professional body representing Sport and Exercise Physicians and Sport and Exercise Medicine in Australasia. ACSEP is dedicated to providing a robust training experience for its Registrars whilst advancing the skills of its members through evidence based practice.

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