Free Heart Screenings for Teens

-Press Release-

AUSTIN, Texas (February 1, 2011)-- On February 5, 2011, from 8 a.m. to noon, Heart Hospital of Austin and Championship Hearts Foundation will offer free heart screenings for students ages 14 through 18 years of age.

The screening includes a 12-lead electrocardiogram (ECG) and a limited two-dimensional echocardiogram, or ultrasound of the heart, to detect Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM).

HCM is a serious genetic heart condition in which the heart muscle thickens.

It affects one in 500 student athletes every year, and is the leading cause of sudden cardiac death in young athletes.

“In patients with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, the thickened heart muscle makes it difficult for the heart to pump blood, and can affect the heart’s electrical system,” Stanley Wang, M.D., clinical cardiologist at Heart Hospital of Austin, said. “Because it usually doesn’t have any warning signs, HCM often goes undiagnosed. Left untreated, it can be life threatening.”

During the last decade, more than 12,000 students have been screened by Championship Hearts Foundation, with approximately one percent of them requiring a referral for further cardiac testing.

Students/parents may opt to include their test results in a registry managed by Championship Hearts Foundation to support research in adolescent cardiology.

Such registry data will be maintained under the most strict confidentiality standards for medical information.

During the event, there will also be CPR and Automated External Defibrillator (AED) demonstrations.

An AED is a computerized medical device capable of interpreting a person’s heart rhythm and recognizing a rhythm that requires a shock.

This free event is made possible by the generosity of cardiologists from Austin Heart, Children’s Cardiology Associates, Heart and Vascular of Central Texas, and Heart Clinic of Austin, as well as the complimentary use of facilities at Heart Hospital of Austin.

The free heart screenings will be held in the café of Heart Hospital of Austin, located at 3801 North Lamar Blvd.

Free parking is available in the adjacent parking garage.

Both the ECG and echocardiogram, which take about five minutes each, are non-invasive and painless.

Results of the screening are reviewed by a cardiologist and available immediately.

Parents are welcome and encouraged to accompany their child during the screening.

No appointment is necessary, and students will be seen on a “first come, first served” basis.

Students must have a signed parental waiver in order to receive the screening.

The waiver form is available at Championship Hearts Foundation's website and will also be available at the screening.

In support of the very worthy Championship Hearts Foundation cause, a $25 tax-deductible donation to the foundation is welcomed, but not required to participate in the screening.

For more information, parents can call the foundation at 512.340.7313.

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