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Metro Health Offers Student Athlete Heart Screenings

Posted: August 16, 2012

Metro Health Sports Medicine and Metro Heart & Vascular will offer free student athlete heart screenings Saturday, Sept. 15 from 8 a.m. – 12 p.m.

The screenings, for student athletes between the ages of 14-18, will be held at Metro Health Cascade, 4300 Cascade Rd. S.E. To reserve a space, participants should register by phone at 616.242.4880.  Participation is limited to the first 200 registered student athletes.

Metro Health Hospital Foundation donors have generously provided funding for these screenings.

The screening will look for risks of sudden cardiac death. Students will answer general health questions and then receive an EKG. If the EKG indicates something out of the ordinary, the student will then immediately have an echocardiogram. Physicians with Metro Health Sports Medicine and Metro Heart & Vascular are teaming up to offer the screenings. There will be physicians available to read the EKGs and echocardiograms.

“EKGs are not routinely performed as part of the cardiovascular screening done at a child’s sports physical, but recent evidence suggests they should,” said Dr. Ed Kornoelje, sports medicine physician at Metro Health. “The additional cost, however, is often difficult for families to afford. Yet, as we remember the shocking death of high school basketball star Wes Leonard, cardiologists and sports medicine physicians around the world have suggested heart screenings that include a baseline EKG and ECHO, if necessary, may help identify those with cardiac issues that place them at higher risk for sudden cardiac death and serve as an important preventative measure.”

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