The Pediatric Heart and COVID


It’s 2021. CoVID-19 is still here. We amazingly have a vaccine out and I’m so thankful and grateful to the scientists who worked tirelessly to get it out and to have had the opportunity to be a recipient of the vaccine. But despite these advances, cases, hospitalizations and deaths have continued to surge. We’ve seen Children’s Hospitals once again being used for overflow for adult patients being hospitalized with COVID. A disease at the start of all this we thought was not really affecting kids at all, has proven us wrong. Fortunately, from a severity of illness or deaths from COVID, that has still been rare, but we have also seen cases of the condition we call MIS-C, multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children,  attributed to COVID.

From a sports standpoint, we still have seen varying degrees of shutdowns or rescheduling of sports games and seasons around the country. Early on there was great concern about COVID infection having a significant effect on the heart leading to myocarditis. This led to guidelines being developed by leading cardiologists around the country, including one of my guests today, regarding the need for screening prior to returning to sports participation.

Today on the podcast, we are going to focus exclusively on the heart and the young athlete in COVID. What do we know a year later and where do we go from here.


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The Host of this Program:

Dr. Mark Halstead - Host of The Pediatric Sports Medicine Podcast - St. Louis, MOMark Halstead: 

Dr. Mark Halstead received his medical degree from the University of Wisconsin Medical School. He stayed at the University of Wisconsin for his pediatric residency, followed by a year as the chief resident. Following residency, he completed a pediatric and adult sports medicine fellowship at Vanderbilt University. He has been an elected member to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Council on Sports Medicine and Fitness and the Board of Directors of the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine (AMSSM). He has served as a team physician or medical consultant to numerous high schools, Vanderbilt University, Belmont University, Washington University, St. Louis Cardinals, St. Louis Blues, St. Louis Athletica, and St. Louis Rams. He serves and has served on many local, regional and national committees as an advisor for sports medicine and concussions. Dr. Halstead is a national recognized expert in sport-related concussions and pediatric sports medicine.

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The Guests Featured Inside this Program

Steven Paridon - A Guest on The Pediatric Sports Medicine Podcast with Dr. Mark HalsteadSteven Paridon: 

Dr. Stephen Paridon is a professor of pediatrics and director of the exercise physiology lab at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. He has authored numerous articles and book chapter on the topic on the impact of congenital heart disease on exercise performance in children and adolescents. He has served as President of the North American Society for Pediatric Exercise Medicine. He also was one of the authors on expert analysis published by the American College of Cardiology in July of 2020 on returning to play after coronavirus infection focused on pediatric aged athletes.

Connect with Steven Paridon: On the Web



Kendra Ward: Kendra Ward - A Guest on The Pediatric Sports Medicine Podcast with Dr. Mark Halstead

Dr. Kendra Ward is an associate professor of pediatric in the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago. She is the creator and director of the Lurie Children’s Cardiac Rehabilitation Program as well as the Director of the Cardiopulmonary Exercise Lab and Exercise Medicine Program as well as the Director of the Preventive Cardiology Program.

Connect with Lendra Ward: On the Web



William Orr - A Guest on The Pediatric Sports Medicine Podcast with Dr. Mark HalsteadWilliam Orr: 

Dr. William Orr is an assistant professor of pediatrics and director of the exercise physiology lab at St Louis Children’s Hospital. He current research focuses on the value of exercise testing in pediatrics and program development and introducing new technology for resting. He has served on task force with me in St Louis as our pediatric cardiology consultant that helped provide guidance for allowing for safe return to sports for young athletes during this pandemic.

Connect with William Orr: On the WebOn Twitter