Few parents realize their children can be at risk for heart issues but an estimated one in five hundred school aged children suffer from an undiagnosed heart defect. Additionally, 7,000 to 10,000 school-aged children die each year nationwide from sudden cardiac arrest.
A free heart screening for children and young adults age 12-25 in Rancho Cordova could put parents’ mind at ease.
Often the first symptom is death.
“Sometimes there are some warning signs and they’re often misdiagnosed as anxiety or stress,” said Liz Lazar-Johnson with Via Heart Project conducting the screening this Sunday.
“With children it’s not really lifestyle habits. It’s something they inherited genetically. So a congenital heart defect and often the first sign or symptom is going into cardiac arrest.”
Lazar-Johnson says the risk of complications can be higher for students who are active in sports.
The screening at Folsom Cordova High School is extensive and open to those even outside the district.
“It includes a health history review, then they get a 12 lead EKG, echocardiogram with a sonographer, an ultrasound of the heart and a review with a cardiologist. We also teach them to use hands only CPR and use an AED ( automated external defibrillator) while they’re there,” explained Lazar-Johnson. The screening takes about 60-90 minutes and is non-invasive with no needles or x-ray exposure.
“It’s free to anyone to come and do the screening and it’s really hundreds and possibly thousands of dollars and it could save your life.”
Via Heart Project screening is supplementary to, but does not replace, a child’s annual exam or school sports physical. To participate, click here to register and download a health form and signed parental consent, both of which should be filled out and brought to the screening. Registration closes at noon on February 22, 2019. They do allow walk-ins between 11a and 1:00p.