Teen Athlete Cardiac Screening

By Maegan Vidal – 

Read ECGs
Pediatric cardiologists James Kyser, M.D. and Peter Chang, D.O. read ECGs at the 2012 Teen Athlete Cardiac Screening

The American Heart Association reports that one in every 30,000 to 50,000 high school aged athletes die annually in the U.S. from sudden cardiac arrest.

The Children’s Heart Program at Randall Children’s Hospital at Legacy Emanuel in partnership with The David Heller Foundation, with generous support from adidas and Health Net of Oregon, present the eighth annual Teen Athlete Cardiac Screening Saturday, October 4, 2014. This year, the Teen Athlete Cardiac Screening is expanding its reach and how it gives back to the community.

Randall Children’s Hospital and The David Heller Foundation will be donating tool kits to schools, community organizations, and doctors throughout rural Oregon so they may host their own teen athlete cardiac screenings close to home. The David Heller Foundation is also donating defibrillators to high school sports teams in hopes of saving lives during cardiac events. Scholarships for the cardiac screening at Adidas Village are also available by calling 503-335-3500.

The Teen Athlete Cardiac Screening will provide 500 students athletes ages 13-19 a full cardiac screening at $10 per student on Saturday, October 4, 2014, at the Adidas Village from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Preregistration is required at legacyhealth.org/TACS.

The Teen Athlete Cardiac Screening provides heart health and risk assessments that help identify whether a teen has a potential heart problem. 10 percent of teen athletes screened at the 2013 event were not cleared for physical activity. The primary care providers of these athletes were notified for further examination and diagnosis. The average age of athletes at last year’s event was 14 years old; 66 percent of athletes were male and 34 percent were female.

Cardiac health exams will be performed by a team of physicians and healthcare providers, nurses, and technicians. The exams include height, weight, body mass index (BMI), and blood pressure measurements; an electrocardiogram (ECG), which is reviewed during the event by a pediatric cardiologist; a detailed health history; and a cardiac exam. Students will receive their assessment results at the screening which are reviewed with them by a pediatric physician. In the case of abnormal results, a student’s existing primary care provider will be notified by Randall Children’s Hospital.

The value of the cardiac screening provided by Randall Children’s Hospital is nearly $300 per screening. The screening does not take the place of the medical examination required for all student athletes participating in a school sport.