Hurley Screens 200 Teens at FREE Teen Heart Screening Program November 5th
Nov. 14-On November 5, 2011, Hurley Medical Center offered a FREE Teen Health Check for area high school students, ages 13 through 19, at the Hurley School of Nursing. Two hundred young people from throughout mid-Michigan were screened. This very important, one-of-a-kind program offered an in-depth heart screening that included a medical history, blood pressure check and an EKG. Echocardiograms were provided, if needed. The purpose of the heart health screening was to identify evidence of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a serious and potentially life-threatening condition that can cause sudden cardiac death in young athletes as well as in students engaging in physical activity or exercise.
At the screening, Hurley clinical staff evaluated over 190 teenagers from the surrounding communities. Hurley physicians identified three "Stop Exercise" students. This assessment indicates that it would be dangerous for these children to continue exercise without further evaluation by a pediatric cardiologist. In addition, the physicians identified eight "exercise but follow-up with your doctor" students. These children had abnormalities on their exams, or histories that do not keep them from exercising but that do warrant further evaluation by their primary physician.
“The screening takes about 30 minutes,” said Dr. Jim Weber, ER Physician on staff at Hurley. “Those 30 minutes may save a student’s life or provide peace of mind for parents concerned about their child’s risk of sudden cardiac death and premature hypertension."
Sudden cardiac death is the leading cause of death in young athletes. Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is the single most common cause of death among U.S. athletes. Nearly 4,000 of these deaths are among young people. One in 200,000 high school athletes will die suddenly, most without any prior symptoms. In addition, male athletes are 10 times more likely to die suddenly as a result of HCM.
On October 27, Hurley Medical Center invited the media to a special press conference to kick off Hurley’s FREE Teen Heart Screening program. The media event was attended and covered by the Flint Journal, WNEM-TV5, and abc12. NBC25 interviewed Dr. Weber during their morning newscast LIVE on October 26.
This screening program was first developed at Beaumont Hospital in Detroit in 2007 with the intention of identifying high school-age students who might be at risk for sudden cardiac arrest and other cardiovascular complications. To date, 7,000 teens have been screened.