Heart Screenings

Each year thousands of seemingly healthy children, teens and young adults suffer sudden cardiac arrest and death due to undetected heart conditions.  Many victims have no prior history of heart disease and are stricken without warning. The real tragedy is that many of these deaths could have been prevented with a quick, affordable, safe, non-invasive and painless test known as an electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG).
To help prevent disabilities and death from sudden cardiac arrest Saving Young Hearts provides free heart screenings that can detect risk factors and conditions associated with sudden cardiac arrest.  The heart screenings include heart health questionnaire, blood pressure reading, heart sound check, electrocardiogram and in some cases a limited echocardiogram.  The results are reviewed by board certified cardiologists.  If you are interested in future heart screening events, please visit our website regularly or sign up for email updates.
Conditions that lead to SCA can be detected with noninvasive, painless, safe tests, thorough screening of family history and symptoms. As children grow their hearts change and repeat evaluation are often needed.  Heart screenings save lives!

What is an Electrocardiogram (EKG/ECG)? Electrocardiogram, EKG or ECG, all refer to the same test, which is a simple and painless test that measures and records the electrical activity of the heart on graph paper.  The ECG picks up impulses from electrodes that are placed on the chest, arms, and legs.  With each beat, an electrical impulse travels through the heart.  This impulse causes the muscle to squeeze and pump blood from the heart.

What is an Echocardiogram ("Echo”)? An echocardiogram is an ultrasound examination of the heart that uses high frequency sound waves to display the structure, function and blood flow of the heart on a monitor screen without the use of x-ray.  A colorless gel is applied to the skin on the area of the chest where the heart is located.  A transducer, a small microphone like device, is placed on top of the gel and moved to obtain the images the cardiologist wants to see.  A computer transfers the information from the transducer to make an image of the heart.  The echocardiogram can detect structural abnormalities of the heart and show valve shape, motion, narrowing or leaking.

What is a Holter Monitor? A Holter Monitor is a portable diagnostic tool used to record the rate and rhythm of the heart during a continuous 24 hour period, which can identify irregularities that cannot be detected by a standard electrocardiogram.  An experienced technician will attach five electrode patches with wires to the child’s chest.  The wires are attached to a tape recorder that is worn for 24 hours on a belt around the waist or on a shoulder strap like a shoulder bag.  This test is safe and painless but some may find it inconvenient.