Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice

Committee Chair

Dr. Martha Biddle

Clinical Mentor

Dr. Leesa Schwarz

Committee Member

Dr. Lacey Buckler

Committee Member

Dr. Patricia K. Howard


PURPOSE: Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) continues to be the leading cause of death in male high school athletes participating in competitive sports. There is gap in the current preventative screening practice of history and physical alone. The purpose of this project is to evaluate adding a 12-lead electrocardiogram (ECG) to pre-participation screening captures cardiac abnormalities that identify male athletes at a higher risk for developing SCA. METHODS: A descriptive secondary analysis design to determine the incidence of cardiac abnormalities detected with the addition of a 12-lead ECG during pre-participation screenings (annual sports physical) of high school-aged male athletes. The study was conducted in two parts. Part 1 included direct experiential learning observation at four prevention-screening sessions between the months of July and August 2020. Part 2 was a retrospective secondary analysis of data collected by the MCORE Foundation during previous preventative screenings to find correlation and feasibility of adding a 12-lead ECG and cardiac questionnaire to pre-participation screenings. RESULTS: The study identified a significant correlation between ECG findings and the pediatric cardiologist’s interpretations. CONCLUSION: Adding a 12-lead ECG showed significant correlation with pediatric cardiologist recommendations for treatment and evaluation.