Aspetar Shapes Global Guidelines for Youth Football Cardiac Screening

22/01/2024 02:26 PM

A landmark gathering at FIFA headquarters on 15-16 January saw the inaugural FIFA cardiac consensus meeting take a vital step towards safeguarding young athletes' health. Renowned sports cardiologists, including Aspetar's expert Professor Guido Pieles, united to tackle a critical issue: establishing standardized cardiac screening guidelines for football players aged 12-18.

Professor Pieles, Head of Sports Cardiology and Screening at Aspetar, played a pivotal role as co-chair of the group and member of the 4 head steering committee, driving the creation of the first-ever FIFA consensus document on youth football cardiac screening. This document will set global standards for when, how often, and with what tools young players should be screened for potential heart problems.

Prof Guido said:

To bring world experts together to discuss the best approach in the cardiac screening of youth athletes is a very innovative and much-needed project and shows the commitment to cardiac player health of the FIFA medical team.

Aspetar's dedication to sports cardiology was a driving force behind the meeting's success. Their renowned Sports Cardiology department provides comprehensive assessments and personalised recommendations for athletes of all levels. Their team of cardiologists, physiologists, and specialists has extensively researched the development of the young athlete's heart, establishing normal ranges for cardiac parameters based on maturation.

The FIFA consensus meeting culminated in a clear commitment to develop a unified document addressing key questions on screening frequency, methodologies, and tools. Its completion and publication will be followed by active implementation, education, and collaboration with football associations worldwide.

This document promises to be a game-changer, significantly impacting the health and well-being of young football players globally. As Aspetar continues to lead the way in sports cardiology, its expertise and leadership will give young athletes around the world the confidence to pursue their dreams knowing their hearts are safe.

Aspetar's commitment to sports cardiology extends beyond clinical services. Their specialist team, including cardiologists, physiologists, and specialists, has collaborated with athletes of all ages, particularly within the unique structure of Aspire Academy. This close collaboration has yielded crucial insights into the development of the young athlete's heart, informing the FIFA guidelines, and establishing normal ranges for young athletes' hearts.



About Aspetar:

Aspetar is a world-leading specialised orthopaedic and sports medicine hospital and the first of its kind in the Middle East. Since 2007, with a world expert team, the hospital has provided top-level comprehensive medical treatment to all athletes in a state-of-the-art facility that sets new standards internationally.

In 2009, Aspetar was accredited as a “FIFA Medical Centre of Excellence” by F-MARC. In 2013, Aspetar was adopted as a reference collaborator centre by the Gulf Countries Council (GCC) Health Ministers Council and “The IOC Research Centre for Prevention of Injury and Protection of Athlete Health” in 2014.

In 2015, Aspetar has been recognised as the “IHF Reference Centre for Athlete and Referee Health”. In the same year, the hospital also achieved obtained-on December 15 the Accreditation Canada International (ACI) “Platinum Level”.

Aspetar is a member–organisation of Aspire Zone Foundation, Qatar’s innovative sports and healthy lifestyle destination.

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