There are times when one wishes that people just knew more about a certain topic. Whether it be cancer, the motives of a charity, or sudden cardiac arrest, there are numerous instances when improved knowledge could have helped immensely. Thankfully, there are also instances in which the awareness raised potentially helped save someone’s life.
This situation happened recently at the highest level of athletics, when doctors at the NFL Combine, an event where top college prospects are evaluated for NFL stardom, discovered highly touted Star Lotulelei, had a heart condition after undergoing an echocardiogram. This test is a required part of every player’s physical, and it is not an overstatement to suggest that this test probably saved his life.
Lotulelei was discovered to have an abnormally low Ejection Fraction, detecting that the left ventricle of his heart was pumping at only 44 percent efficiency; the normal range is between 55-70. According to Sutter Health, low ejection fraction caused by heart failure or cardiomyopathy are rarely cured. Therefore, although it may mean the end of Lotulelei’s career, catching this early may help improve his quality of life.
Some symptoms of this illness include: shortness of breath or inability to exercise, swelling of the feet or lower legs, fatigue, and irregular heartbeat. However, some who suffer from this rarely exhibit outward symptoms, and that is where the echocardiogram helped the most. In order to combat this ailment and keep it from getting worse, he will have to limit his physical activity, schedule rest periods throughout the day, and eat a heart-healthy diet.
Understanding symptoms and warning signs of heart troubles can and will help save someone’s life. While NFL players have routine access to top-flight experts and physicians, the same luxury is not afforded to all high school and college athletes. This is where making an echocardiogram a required part of a high school or college physical can help immensely.
In Good Heart Health,