The Debate of Heart Screenings

The St. Petersburg Times ran a story today titled “Medical Experts at Odds Over Value of Cardiac Testing for Kids.”  I love debates.  This topic deserves a real debate so that the facts can come out and we can make an educated and informed decision.  Unfortunately, I don’t think that is occuring.  I’m hearing alot of opinions, or even worse, opinions represented as fact, from the naysayers. 

Simon’s Fund provides heart screenings for children.  In our experience, 2 out of every 100 children that are screened discover a potentially fatal heart condition that they did know about.  Our findings are consistent with the findings in Italy and the recent study released by Harvard.

We also spend about $60 to screen a child.  This includes the cost of the ECG exam and ECHO, if necessary.  I don’t think that $60 is too much to spend to check the most important organ in a person’s body.  I think that the chance of saving two out of every 100 children is a good use of  time and resources.  I’d love to see some facts to disprove my beliefs.  Seriously, I’ll entertain them.     

According to Medline Plus, 2 of out every 1,000 children born have some kind of hearing impairment.  In 30 states, all newborns must receive a hearing test.  This is great.  Hearing is important.

I hope that our children’s hearts get the same level of attention and commitment as their ears.  After all, in the scheme of life, hearing is a “nice to have,” a healthy heart is a “must have.”

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