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Dr. Lynn Batten, director of the division of pediatric cardiology at the University of South Alabama, will be partnering with Heart for Athletes to conduct a free heart screening event for 75 high school athletes on Aug. 16 at USA’s Springhill Avenue Campus from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Screenings are appointment only.
According to Dr. Batten, the Heart for Athletes heart screening will include a health history form, blood pressure check, an EKG, and a brief echo. The EKG is a recording of the electrical activity of the heart, and the echo captures images of the heart with ultrasound. “Both tests are completely painless and non-invasive,” said Dr. Batten.
The screening should take about 20 minutes, and all EKG's and echos will be read by Dr. Batten. Other demonstrations, such as CPR and AED (automated external defibrillator) training, will be available for teens and their parents or other family members who come to the heart screening event.
A screening EKG and echo may not detect every condition that could cause sudden cardiac death. However, it certainly improves the chances of detection compared to current screening techniques.
Dr. Batten said that it is important for athletes to be screened for heart health. “The standard pre-participation questionnaire and exam may miss the most common cause of sudden cardiac death in athletes, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, which can be picked up around 90 percent of the time on an EKG, which can also pick up other asymptomatic conditions,” said Dr. Batten.
For more information or to make an appointment click here.
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