Community heart screenings come in different shapes and sizes. Below, you’ll find the names of different groups who use different models of delivery. One day, this will all be standardized. Until then, we’ll continue to work toward the same goal – preventing sudden death.
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ECG/ECHO (LIMITED) SCREENING MODEL
The Nick of Time Foundation was created in memory of Nick Varrenti, a high school student who collapsed while playing football. It was founded in 2006 and conducts approximately 8-10 screenings events annually with over 4,000 students screened each year.
The low cost screening is community-based and offered in partnership through local high schools. It is available to students ages 14-24 during the school day. Each screening requires approximately 125 volunteers comprised of laypeople and medical practitioners. A core team from the University of Washington Center for Sports Cardiology is always present. The screening includes a medical and family history, 12 lead ECG, heart sounds physical, “hands only” CPR/AED training and limited echocardiogram if needed. Cardiologists and sports medicine physicians are on site using the Seattle Criteria to evaluate the ECG and ECHO exams.
SCHOOL BASED WEEKDAY SCREENING MODEL
Max Schewitz Foundation was founded in memory of Max, who died suddenly from a cardiac arrhythmia. It was created in 2006 and conducts 10 to 12 screening events per year, with approximately 6,500 students screened each year.
The low cost screening is offered to students ages 14-18. Each screening requires approximately 100 volunteers comprised of laypeople and medical practitioners. The screening includes a cardiac health history and an EKG, as well as a blood pressure check and an echocardiogram for those identified to be higher risk. The cardiologist team is present at every screening and receives a stipend for their participation.
SCHOOL BASED WEEKEND SCREENING MODEL
Simon’s Fund was founded in memory of a seemingly healthy three month old boy named Simon. It conducts the majority of its screenings in the Philadelphia area.
These free screenings are available to students between the ages of 12 – 19. They are held at a high school and are usually scheduled between the hours of 9 – 1 on Saturday. Each screening requires approximately 50 community volunteers comprised of laypeople and medical practitioners. The screening consists of a comprehensive medical and family history, vital signs, auscultation (murmur) and ECG. About 10% of the students receive an echocardiogram based on an abnormal finding or family history. The students learn about CPR and AEDs during the screening. All of the data and images from the screening are gathered and stored on a digital platform called HeartBytes. Then, it is made available to qualified researchers, free of charge.
HEALTH SYSTEM SCREENING MODEL
Beaumont Student Heart Check Program was started by the Beaumont Health System in 2007 in response to the deaths of local student athletes. It conducts 3-5 screening events every year, with over 1,500 students screened each year.
The free screening is for students ages 13-18. Each screening event requires approximately 100 volunteers comprised of laypeople and medical practitioners. The screening includes medical and family history, blood pressure checks, ECG, “quick look” echocardiograms and CPR/AED education. Cardiologists are on site for evaluations.
INTEGRATED HEALTH SYSTEM SCREENING MODEL
Play Smart Youth Heart Screenings provides free youth heart screenings and is a part of the Providence Heart and Vascular Institute, the largest cardiac care provider in Oregon. It organizes dozens of screenings per year and has screened 9,000 young people since 2012.
The free screening is for students ages 12-18. Screenings are provided by a combination of volunteers and hospital and clinic employees. The screening includes a blood pressure check and an ECG, as well as a limited echocardiogram for individuals with abnormal ECG results.