The heart is one of our most important organs, yet it is often overlooked. When children are born, they receive a pulse oximetry to check the oxygen level in their blood. This exam 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, distributes blood and oxygen to every part of our body, that's it.
Sudden cardiac arrest takes the lives of thousands of children every year. It is the #1 cause of death for 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. And it should be a free heart test.
Research shows that cardiac screenings – when coupled with a good medical history and physical exam– are much more effective at detecting heart conditions. A heart screening can do more to prevent sudden cardiac arrest than just questions and listening to the heart.
To find youth heart screenings in the Greater Philadephia, click here. You can also find us screening in the host city of the Final Four each year. This year, we hope to be back in Indianapolis.
To find youth heart screenings around the country, click here. There are some great organizations around the country protecting hearts and saving lives.
What happens during a cardiac screening?
Our heart screenings include a thorough medical and family history, physical exam and an ECG. "ECG" stands for an electrocardiogram, which is a common test that looks for an irregularity in the rhythm of your heart. It can also be abbreviated as EKG.
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 EKG exam or been seen by a cardiologist. The screening is not a substitute for regular visits to your family doctor. Be sure to share the results of the free EKG screening with your physician.
Heart screenings are not a standard of care. They are also not administered in a standard way. For the moment, we believe that our protocol is the best blend of efficiency, effectiveness. To learn about other screening models and protocols, click here.
What Happens at a Heart Screening:
Complete a short online medical history form.
We’ll check your blood pressure, height, and weight.
We'll conduct an ECG. Stickers with small electrodes will be placed on your chest, legs and arms to measure the activity of your heart.
You might get an echocardiogram based on your medical history or the ECG. It takes a picture of your heart like a sonogram.
Using all the information gathered during your cardiac screening, our cardiologists will let you know if you should get a full cardiac evaluation or consult with your pediatrician.