To the Editor:

Re “Focus on Heart Deaths in Student-Athletes” (Vital Signs, April 12): Physicals that rely on stethoscope, personal and family history do not adequately identify many whose lives are at risk for sudden cardiac arrest. Most athletes who die on the field have experienced no symptoms prior to their death.

Communities should insist on automated external defibrillators(A.E.D.’s), CPR/A.E.D. training and emergency response plans wherever youth play. We have the tools and technology available to save young lives. We should be using them, or live with the fact that kids will continue to die while we debate whether they’re worth saving.

Michele Snyder

Northbrook, Ill.

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