Local hospital provides free physical for Longview ISD athletes

Local hospital provides free physical for Longview ISD athletes
Published: Apr. 19, 2023 at 3:10 PM CDT|Updated: Apr. 19, 2023 at 8:06 PM CDT
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LONGVIEW, Texas (KLTV) - For East Texas high school athletes, a physical exam is essential to ensure they are in good condition for rigorous training. The goal is also to identify any underlying conditions that could pose a serious health threat.

At Lobo coliseum in Longview, a team from CHRISTUS Health provided free physicals for Longview ISD student-athletes.

“We’ve going to check their height, their weight, Ortho-screen for their whole body, review their medical history, then they will see a physician to make sure they’re ready and safe to play,” says Casey Reed with CHRISTUS.

It’s the first of several free physical events for area schools in the next weeks.

“Next 2week we’ll have about 2,000 athletes at Spring Hill,” Reed says.

But protocols for physicals changed in light of recent instances of athletes collapsing on the field.

“Blood pressure over time, listening for heart murmurs. maybe you get tired more quickly than your teammate. Chest pains when your running,” Casey says.

“Pre-participating physicals. Can we identify something that may be a problem? Can we alert a student athlete on something that could be an issue?” says CHRISTUS Health’s Coleman Swierc.

16-year-old Michael Smith is a soccer player, and welcomes the extended physical to know whether he has any heart or lung problems, with the constant running in soccer.

“In the off-season we have to run everyday just to be sure to get used to what’s going to happen in the game,” he says.

Extra emphasis is placed on history of concussions and trying to determine if students have any undiagnosed cardiac problems.

“If you’ve had several concussions we’re going to have a longer talk with you. Family history, if you lost someone to a heart event,” says Reed.

It’s all for one important purpose: player safety.

“To make sure everybody’s safe, and everybody walks off the field,” Smith says.

The CHRISTUS Health team gave physicals to around 500 Longview ISD student athletes today.