FAQs

Your Questions Answered

Frequently Asked Questions

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Why should my child get a heart screening?
A simple heart screening can help detect problems before they become major medical issues. We strongly recommend all student athletes get an ECG. Athletes are 2-3 X's prone to SCA than regular students
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How is the heart screening done?
Cardiac screening can detect a variety of potentially catastrophic genetic diseases. The simplest level of testing is an ECG, which looks at the electrical signals of the heart. An ECG involves placing electrodes on the chest around the heart to record those signals. The test is easy, painless, non- invasive, and takes less than 5 minutes. It does not involve needles, blood work, radiation exposure or sedation.
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Who reads the ECG?
Every ECG is read by board-certified Cardiologists who are among the most experienced and qualified doctors in the country. Their experience means more accurate interpretations.
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How often do you find a problem?
On average 97% of all those screened have a normal ECG and are considered at low risk for cardiac issues. In less than 3%, results are inconclusive or suggest something that requires further testing. Most often an Echocardiogram (Echo) is recommended. The Echo is used to get a picture of the heart similar to an ultrasound to look at a baby during pregnancy. The Echo looks for valve and vein structure, muscle thickness, and proper operation of the heart. Most rarely, but most importantly, our statistics show that 1 in 1000 of those we screen will be flagged as high risk with a severe abnormality on their ECG.
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What if my child needs a follow up?
Results are evaluated by our nationwide pediatric cardiologists.
If your child has an abnormal finding, here is the procedure:

  • - We suggest a second screening (just to make sure).
  • - We connect with you and your pediatrician to inform both parties
  • - If the results are the same, we send both parties a pdf of the screening
  • - HITG then follows up with both parties
  • - If the child is at risk, we reach out to the AD of his/her school
  • - After all the abnormal results are sent to the family, HITG does a free and clear email to everyone else
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Will I see the results of my child's ECG?
If there is a cause for concern, HITG will contact you and your pediatrician with a pdf of the screening. After you speak to the pediatrician, we will ask for a follow up from him or her.  After we connect with parents and pediatricians for those with abnormalities, we will send a FREE and CLEAR email to all those families. I If you wish a pdf of the EKG, we will be happy to send one. (Some parents like to have it as a baseline, even if the child is free and clear).
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What if my child is considered "High Risk"?
If your child is flagged as high risk, it is like a red traffic light. He or she should not participate in sports or high-energy activities in any way (practice, games, scrimmages, etc.) until he or she has seen a specialist and received clearance or treatment. If there is High Risk, we will reach out to the AD of the school.
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What if I don't receive my results
Occasionally results are blocked by spam folders or there is input error on the correct email. Please contact us here to request a copy of your results.
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Do we need to do this every year?
ECG screening should be part of the physical every two years through middle school and high school due to the physical changes and increased stresses on a student athlete's heart, which occur during that time frame. However, encourage your children to be open and honest about how they physically feel and if at any time your child begins to experience any of the symptoms listed above, take immediate action with your child's physician.
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How is COVID-19 affecting our heart screenings?
COVID-19 is affecting our screening's in several ways:

• Increase costs due to PPE and sanitation supplies.
• Increase in sanitation time as we're sanitizing between each participant.
• We are keeping our pre-registration numbers at a safe count in order to practice safe distancing between participants.
• We are requiring face masks for all invovled in our heart screening program.
• We are asking that everyone keep a safe distance from each other at 6 feet apart.
• We are limiting the number of persons allowed to go back into the screening room.
• 1 in 7 athletes who contract COVID-19 have myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle)
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What is HITG COVID-19 safety protocols?
We are determined to follow CDC guidelines and extend them.
• We ask that everyone must wear a mask at all times.
• Temperatures will be taken before anyone is allowed to enter and a questionnaire will be asked to verify every individuals health. These results will determine if a patient is allowed to continue with screen.
• Please sanitize your hands before signing in.
• Everyone must stay 6ft apart.
• 1 Parent or guardian may come into the screening area with the patient.
• Every table will be sanitized after every participant is finished.
• Every machine will be wiped down and sanitized in between every participant.
• Volunteers must sanitize hands in between every participant.
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How does a heart in the game screening work?
• If we stage an In-school event, we coordinate the program through a nurse or athletic director.
• HITG nurses/techs perform the screenings.
• Results are interpreted by pediatric cardiologists.. If there is a cause for concern, HITG contacts the parents and pediatrician for appropriate care. Otherwise, after all are evaluated, HITG sends an all clear message to parents (or those 18 and over).
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How much will this cost?
The screening costs $20. A typical doctor’s appointment with ECG normally costs $150 and up. Part of our mission is to serve the underserved communities of Delaware, Title 1 schools for example.

If we stage either an IN school event at a non-Title 1 school or a community-wide event in a non-underserved area, the cost to sponsor an event is $2500.00. This amount might be arranged through an individual donation, a corporate sponsor or an athletic Booster Club.
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Isn't this covered with the annual physical?
No. The annual physical exam asks family history questions, and requires a doctor to listen to the student’s heart with a stethoscope. Studies have shown that this is just 8% effective in catching heart issues. An ECG can detect up to 92% of the conditions that cause SCA. Heart In The Game charges $20/screening
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Do we need to do this every year?
ECG screening should be part of the physical every two years through middle school and high school due to the physical changes and increased stresses on a student athlete's heart which occur during that time frame. However, encourage your children to be open and honest about how they physically feel and if at any time your child begins to experience any of the symptoms listed above, take immediate action with your child's physician.
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Are boys and girls screened together?
No. Arrangements are made for privacy. Boys will remove their shirts. Girls should wear a regular bra, which will not need to be removed. Everyone should wear loose fitting clothes.Not to worry...our nurses are WONDERFUL! They have been with us for years. They love kids! That's why they are nurses!
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How can I find out more information?
Check out our Contact Page or e-mail us at greer@heartinthegame.org.

Support Heart In The Game

As a small, mostly volunteer based organization, we rely on donor support to continue our work and ensure that we have the best technology available for trainings. Your support also ensures that we can provide more screenings. Thank you.

3500

Screenings completed

8000

People trained in CPR/AED

80

Abnormalties detected in DE