HOUSTON — LeBron James' eldest son, Bronny James, collapsed on Monday when he suffered from cardiac arrest during college basketball practice.
The high-profile incident is prompting attention toward the health of young athletes and the risk of possible heart problems. While overall it's rare, every year, thousands of young people suffer from cardiac arrest.
"Our young athletes and young individuals are not immune from a rather catastrophic, and could be catastrophic, event," said Houston Methodist Hospital Chief of Cardiology William Zoghbi, M.D.
Zoghbi said instances of cardiac arrest in young athletes has not increased significantly, but it's still possible.
“I think we pay more attention to it particularly when you have young athletes who are rather famous or connected to people who we love dearly," he said.
Scott Stephens is the father of Cody Stephens - the namesake a 2019 law that gives parents the option of having their children's heart tested during their sports physical.
“When someone goes down with cardiac arrest you have 6 minutes to revive their heart — get their heart going again or they’re gone," he said.
He said these kinds of tests could've saved his son's life.
“These celebrity cases raises awareness so wonderfully, but everyday we’re losing kids on skateboards, or kids dying at home that are athletes and we don’t hear about them and we’re not doing much about it," Stephens said.
He said more testing should be done on young athletes. Doctors say it's important to be aware of your family's medical history and to stay connected with a healthcare provider.
“Any flag that should be raised for further testing an individual before they go into very competitive sports," Zoghbi said.
Doctors say some warning signs to look for in young athletes are chest pain, shortness of breath or lightheadedness.