For primary care traditions that care for children, the preparticipation physical exam( PPE) is an annual solemnity. My residency program often designates aside two full daytimes in late summer where the residents and attending physicians do nothing but “sports physicals” in order to meet the demand for these exams from prospective high school jocks. Although the utility and effectiveness of this traditional evaluation has long been debated – a 2019 American Family Physician article on Right Care for Children included the PPE in its list of overused interventions – countless clinicians also use the time to address non-sport related issues, stimulating site visits “a potential preventive care entry point and an opportunity to provide routine immunizations, screen for other conditions, and cater anticipatory steering.” Last-place year, the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and various sports medical cultures published the 5th volume of the Preparticipation Physical Evaluation monograph, which was summarized in the June 1 issue of AFP.

The COVID-1 9 pandemic closed schools and offset teenager sports nationwide starts in early March. As class are now reopening in virtual, in-person, and hybrid models, some students are also returning to competitive athletics. To relating to the medical needs of these jocks, the American Medical Society for Plays Medicine( AMSSM) recently released Interim Guidance on the Preparticipation Physical Exam for Competitor “to provide clinicians with a clinical framework to return athletes of all levels to training and competition during the pandemic.”

In addition to the physical perils inherent in playing a play, student jocks now must also be concerned about minimizing their risk of contracting SARS-CoV-2 where maintaining physical distancing is not possible. The AMSSM notes that unlike professional teams, high school and most college squads will not have the resources to perform testing, contact course, and quarantine. It admonishes discussing COVID-1 9 threats in detail with the patient and family at the time of the PPE, and considering points “such as the disease burden in the community, the overall state of the athlete, the living standards,[ and] each athlete’s network of friends and family members who have have comorbid conditions” in the decision to play.

Athletes who have apparently recovered from COVID-1 9 “may have silent clinical pathology in any part, including the heart, ” and hence “should be evaluated in their medical home prior to resuming physical work and organized sports.” Table 2 in the guidance document( p. 27 ) delineates the recommended cardiopulmonary evaluation in jocks with prior COVID-1 9 illnes, depending on the specific clinical scenario.

The AMSSM also provides guidance on following condition that may pose an increased risk for severe COVID-1 9, including maternity, diabetes, hypertension, asthma, and severe obesity. Although athletes with sickle cadre feature are not at higher danger for untoward outcomes in general, they may have an increased risk of hypercoagulability complications for several months after recovery.


This post first appeared on the AFP Community Blog.

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