Highland Offers Free Heart Screenings to Student-Athletes
Students must be 14 or older, enrolled in middle or high school
August 08, 2012
Chad Teeters, M.D., Chief of Cardiology
Rochester, N.Y., August 1, 2012 — Highland Hospital’s Department of Cardiology is offering free heart screenings to student-athletes from the Greater Rochester community before the start of the school year. Cardiologists, led by Chief of Cardiology Chad Teeters, M.D., will be testing for hypertrophic obstructive cardiomyopathy (HOCM), a leading cause of sudden death in young athletes, as well as other heart abnormalities on Saturday, Aug. 25 at Highland Hospital, 1000 South Avenue. Students must be at least 14 years old and enrolled in middle or high school. Appointments are required and can be made by calling (585) 784-8821.
One of the most common causes of sudden cardiac arrest is HOCM. This occurs when a thickened portion of the heart restricts the flow of blood, causing the heart to work harder. The condition has no symptoms, but it can easily be detected with an echocardiogram, an ultrasound of the heart.
During a 20-minute workup, students will have their blood pressure checked and receive an echocardiogram and an electrocardiogram (EKG), a test that checks the electrical activity of the heart and can find if the activity is normal, irregular, fast or slow. All tests are noninvasive.
Students will get their test results immediately. If a problem is found, the student’s primary care doctor will be notified. Athletes younger than 18 years old need parental consent.
In a recent article published in the journal, Pediatrics, the American Academy of Pediatrics stated that an estimated 2,000 people under the age of 25 die from sudden cardiac arrest each year in the United States. The likelihood of child and young adult sudden cardiac arrest for those with an underlying cardiovascular disease is increased by athletic participation, (although it can occur at a young age while at rest.)
Former Boston Celtic Reggie Lewis, former NCAA All-American Hank Gathers and some high school athletes around the country have died from HOCM during competition.