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High School Football Player Died After Game Fullback Kevin Telles Collapsed During Game Friday Night

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Sep 16, 2009 Terry Zeigler
A young football player collapsed on the field during the fourth quarter with two minutes left in the game. Emergency treatment was unsuccessful in reviving athlete.

Kevin Telles was a senior competing for Garden Grove High School. He was a two year varsity athlete who played both linebacker and fullback for his team.
Mechansims of Collapse Unknown

According to an article in the Los Angeles Times (September 13, 2009), several witnesses stated that Telles collapsed face down without being hit during a play. The opposing team had initiated a pass play and Telles was in motion during the play before he collapsed. He was motionless after his collapse.

A team physician was on the field and was able to initiate care. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation was initiated by medical personnel on the field and advanced care was provided by emergency medical personnel when they arrived on site. Telles was transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead at 10:25pm.

Although an autopsy was performed, the results are being withheld until toxicology tests are completed. The results of the toxicology tests could take several weeks to complete.

A makeshift memorial has been growing outside of the young athlete’s high school in Garden Grove. Friends left balloons, candles, and flowers. It was also reported that cheerleaders from a cross-town rival added red roses to the memorial.

Sudden Death in Young Athletes

When a young athlete dies during a sporting event, professionals in the sports medicine field pay attention. The immediate focus is on understanding the cause of death so that, if possible, an athlete's death can be prevented in the future.. Death in a young athlete most commonly occurs from either a sustained catastrophic injury, heat illness, or from a predisposed genetic condition that manifests itself during exertion.

Catastrophic injuries might include serious injuries to the head and/or neck. Brain injuries that can result in the death of an athlete include both an epidural hematoma and subdural hematoma. Both of these brain injuries result in bleeding between the brain and the skull resulting in increased pressure to the brain. In both of these types of brain injuries, the athlete is usually conscious for a period of time prior to lapsing into unconsciousness.

Death of an athlete can also occur from secondary impact syndrome. This is a condition in which an athlete sustains an initial concussion and then receives a second impact to the head before the initial concussion has healed. The onset of symptoms for this condition is rapid and the athlete can lose consciousness within several minutes and be comatose shortly thereafter.

The most common genetic cause of sudden death in young athletes is hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. This is a condition that causes thickening of the wall muscle of the ventricle resulting in ventricular fibrillation. This type of condition would have a sudden onset during exertion.

Kevin Telles was known as the “heart and soul” of his team. As his family, teammates, and friends struggle with their personal loss, medical professionals will continue to strive to understand what caused the death of this athlete.

Read more at Suite101: High School Football Player Died After Game: Fullback Kevin Telles Collapsed During Game Friday Night

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