Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Has your athlete been screened? Go to www.epsavealife.org for information on free heart screenings for high school athletes

Ft. Worth, Texas....Eleven young people from across the country died from suspected sudden cardiac death (SCD) between September 1 and 12, 2011.  These statistics are gathered through media reports since there is no mandatory registry of sudden cardiac death in youth.  Meanwhile, the debate over whether to provide cardiac screenings to youth as a part of their yearly physical continues.    According to an article in yesterday's Washington Post,  Dr. Jonathan Drezner of the University of Washington in Seattle sees "a growing pool of scientific evidence" in support of using an electrocardiogram (EKG) in physicals. 
"People have a misconception that sudden cardiac arrest in youth doesn't happen that often,"  said Parent Heart Watch (PHW) Executive Director Michele Snyder.  "Yet we have tracked eleven since September 1, and fifteen in August, with four surviving.  And these are just the ones we know about.  If a simple, non-invasive EKG could have saved some or all of these lives, don't we owe it to our children to screen them?"
Parent Heart Watch, the national voice solely dedicated to preventing Sudden Cardiac Arrest in youth, launched a pro-screening campaign last October during National Sudden Cardiac Arrest Awareness Month.  The campaign is ongoing.
As one parent  who lost his son to SCA said,  "An $88.00 test would have saved my son's life. This just makes me cry.  An $88.00 test. Less than a pair of cleats."
To learn more about SCA in youth or to request educational resources, visit www.parentheartwatch.org.
 Parent Heart Watch is the national voice solely dedicated to protecting youth from sudden cardiac arrest and preventable sudden cardiac death.  Parent Heart Watch leads and empowers others by sharing information, educating and advocating for change.

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