School will soon begin and training for fall sports is just around the corner. Student athletes will push their bodies to the limits and it’s important to know that they are physically able to handle the stress of intense activity – especially their hearts. A serious heart condition left undetected and untreated can result in dire consequences on the playing field.
Sudden cardiac death is a tragedy at all ages, but it is particularly heart wrenching in the young and apparently healthy population of students. Several genetic conditions are easily identified through cardiac screening including an electrocardiogram (EKG) and echocardiogram. These conditions include hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, right ventricular cardiomyopathy, long QT syndrome and Wolf Parkinson White syndrome.
These conditions are not often identifiable until the adolescent years. Therefore, student athletes are screened once between the ages of 14 to 18 for this disorder.
On Saturday, August 13, Heart Hospital of Austin will provide screenings to student athletes ages 14 to 18. This FREE community service has been provided by the hospital for more than 10 years. To date, more than 6,600 student athletes have been screened at Heart Hospital of Austin. Each student will receive an echocardiogram (ultrasound images of the heart) and an electrocardiogram (EKG). These two screening methods allow for the detection of cardiomyopathy and arrhythmia conditions. Immediately following a student’s screening, a board-certified cardiologist will interpret the results for the student and his or her parents. Approximately 30 physicians, nurses and staff members volunteer their time to provide this important community service.
The screenings are provided by appointment only. To register your child, call (512) 478-3627. The screening itself only takes minutes to complete. From arrival to check out, typically takes less than 45 minutes - time well spent to ensure a child’s cardiovascular health.
Learn more about Heart Hospital of Austin’s Young Athlete Heart Screening
David Kessler, MD
Electrophysiologist, Texas Cardiac Arrhythmia