Schools arming to prevent heart attacks

Please take the time to read the entire article below. It does a solid job of highlighting the need for preventative programs (screening) along with reactionary measures (AED’s). I am also amazed by how many people are touched by Sudden Cardiac Arrest and are empowered to create foundations with the goal of making our kids safer.

Written by Rebecca Jones on Jul 5th, 2011. | Copyright ©


Calls for more thorough screenings in schools
But placing AEDs in schools is only half the equation, say health officials. AEDs can prevent a death once a heart attack has happened. But many would like to see those heart attacks prevented in the first place. They call for stepped-up screening procedures, especially for student athletes.
“People need to understand that the sports physicals kids get now are a complete joke,” said Perse, formerly a firefighter and paramedic with the West Metro Department in Lakewood before launching his company. “They have them cough and take their blood pressure. But what needs to be happening is cardiac heart screens in gym class.”
That, too, is a controversial stance. The American Heart Association calls for a thorough physical exam and detailed medical history for every young athlete,

but stops short of calling for a mandatory EKG before athletes are permitted to play.
Opponents of mandatory heart screenings for student athletes point to the cost of obtaining them, which could knock some low-income children out of participating in sports if their parents couldn’t afford to get them screened. They also point to the number of false positives on such tests.
Proponents of heart screening say the cost can be reduced. Last month, more than 600 Adams County athletes showed up for a free health fair for students at Thornton High School. Every young athlete was given a 12-point EKG, and two pediatric cardiologists were on hand to read the results.
“Out of 600 kids, three were red-flagged for further follow-up,” Perse said. “That’s three kids who could have died on the basketball court.”


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