WVU to provide free sports physicals

June 5 event for junior and senior high school students

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Faculty, staff and students from West Virginia University will provide free sports physicals to junior high and high school students on June 5. The screenings will begin at 8 a.m. at the HealthWorks Rehab and Fitness and WVU Sports Medicine facilities on Maple Drive in Morgantown.

Mathew Lively, D.O., associate professor of internal medicine and pediatrics, is the director of the event and hopes to provide 500 physicals to area kids. As medical director for WVU athletics, Dr. Lively understands and emphasizes the importance of thorough sports physicals.

“The most common cause of sudden death in young athletes is heart problems. When they are detected early, they can be treated,” he said. “In the 16 years I’ve been a team physician, I’ve seen numerous cases where athletes arrive on campus and we discover that they have a cardiac issue that prevents them from performing at the level they need to.”

A feature of the June 5 event is the free EKG (electrocardiogram) that will be provided. “It’s the least costly means of detecting heart issues, and it’s better for the athletes and their families, especially if a life-threatening issue is found,” Lively said.

Each physical will take approximately 30 minutes. Students will pass through a circuit of stations and receive medical and orthopaedic exams, flexibility and functional movement screenings and a treadmill gait evaluation.

The EKGs will be read on the spot by a cardiologist from the WVU Heart Institute. If there are any problems identified, students will be referred to the Heart Institute for an appointment. Any issues detected during any other part of the physical will be referred to the appropriate WVU physicians for follow up.

Students should wear comfortable clothing for the physical, including athletic shoes for the gait analysis.

“WVU Healthcare has a reputation of being a premiere facility for medical care. It’s important for us as a medical center to be in the forefront of providing community service for area children,” Lively said. “It’s an extra step we can take to ensure that every child in the area can participate safely in sports.”

For more information on the free sports physicals, including appointments, call 304-599-2515.


For more information:
Angela Jones, HSC News Service, 304-293-7087
asj: 05-24-10

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