Sunday, August 05, 2001

Hidden heart ills killed teen-agers




By Emily Biuso
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        With improved physical exam forms and equipment at games, doctors, trainers and athletic officials are hoping they can prevent deaths like the three that occurred in Ohio last football season because of undetected heart conditions.

        Ken Derminer, 17, collapsed and died during the last day of Geneva High School football practice on June 7. Doctors later determined Ken had hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a heart condition not detected during his physical.

        On Oct. 13, Marcus Steele, a 15-year-old linebacker, died after making a tackle during Cleveland Central Catholic's homecoming game. The cause of death also was reported as cardiac arrest brought on by hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

        Two weeks later, Josh Miller, a 15-year-old Barberton High School linebacker, died during the final minutes of the last game of the season. An autopsy later revealed the cause of death was Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Dysplasia, a rare hereditary heart disease.

        Because of the difficulty in detecting heart problems even after death, doctors said it's hard to know how many student athletes die of heart conditions nationally. To learn more about sudden cardiac death, visit www.ken heart.org, a Web site for Kids Endangered Now, a foundation formed by Ken Derminer's mom.

       



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