Our children get a pulse-ox exam when they are born to check the oxygen level in their blood. This can reveal a congenital heart defect. After that, we use a stethoscope to listen to their heart every year. That's it.
For an organ that beats over 115,000 time per day and distributes blood and oxygen to every part of our body, that's it.
Sudden cardiac arrest takes the lives of thousands children every year. It is the #1 cause of death of student athletes. It kills more adults than lung cancer, breast cancer and AIDS, combined. But, that's it.
It is not enough. Simon's Heart believes that all students should get their hearts screened. It should be a cardiac standard of care.
Research shows that heart screenings, when coupled with a good medical history and physical exam, are much more effective at detecting heart conditions and preventing sudden cardiac arrest than just questions and listening to the heart.
With the help of our leadership team [Link to Leadership Team] and fundraising events, we have administered over 14,000 heart screenings! Those are some big numbers and we plan on making them even bigger. We do a block of heart screenings in the spring and again in the Fall. In total, we usually have 6 to 7 of these events a year for students ages 12-19. Check out our upcoming heart screenings on our Calendar page.
What happens at a heart screening?
Our heart screenings include a thorough medical and family history, physical exam and ECG. About ten percent of the students will also get an echocardiogram based on family history or an abnormal ECG.
Our screenings are intended for students who have never received an ECG exam or been seen by a cardiologist. The screening is not a substitute for regular visits to your family doctor.
Here's what to expect:
Complete a short online medical history form.
We’ll check your blood pressure, height, and weight. You’ll also get an ECG exam. (Stickers on your chest).
You might get an echocardiogram based on your medical history or the ECG. It takes a picture of your heart.
Cardiologists take all of this information into account to see if there is a need for a full cardiac evaluation.
Click here to register for an upcoming screening.
To see a list of our past screenings, click here.
If you live outside of the Greater Philadelphia area, visit our other site, Screen Across America, to locate a heart screening near you.