A heart attack occurs when a blocked artery prevents oxygen-rich blood from reaching a section of the heart. If the blocked artery is not reopened quickly, the part of the heart normally nourished by that artery begins to die. The longer a person goes without treatment, the greater the damage. Symptoms of a heart attack may be immediate and intense. More often, though, symptoms start slowly and persist for hours, days or weeks before a heart attack. Unlike with sudden cardiac arrest, the heart usually does not stop beating during a heart attack. The heart attack symptoms in women can be different than men.
Sudden cardiac arrest occurs suddenly and often without warning. It is triggered by an electrical malfunction in the heart that causes an irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia). With its pumping action disrupted, the heart cannot pump blood to the brain, lungs and other organs. Seconds later, a person loses consciousness and has no pulse. Death occurs within minutes if the victim does not receive treatment.
The NATIONAL average is 1 in 100 of students who are screened have cause for concern. With the 14 screenings to this date HEART IN THE GAME has had FOUR TIMES the national average. At Selbyville Middle School we had 6 of the 105 screened. It may be a serious problem or perhaps not but it call for a higher level of evaluation. Our volunteer pediatric cardiologists from Nemours then make two calls: one to the parent and the second to the pediatrician.
We only wish this were so. Over 27-- screenings in over 3 years, 2 DE students underwent lenghty procedures at Nemours. Neither family had any heart history.
My daughter Grace received 15 hs Varsity letters. NO family history.
A physical identifies 7% of cardiac issues
Family history identifies 20%
A simple, 5 minute non-invasive EKG identifies 80%.
WHY TAKE THE CHANCE?
The human body changes during puberty both externally and internally in a variety of ways. One of these internal changes is the structure of the heart. In middle school, students push their bodies to new levels as they mature and get bigger and stronger. Because of these physical changes and the increased stresses on a student’s heart, heart screening should be part of a physical at least once while in middle school and once in high school.
A simple heart screening can help detect problems before they become major medical issues. While we recommend all students get an ECG / EKG (used interchangeably), you should definitely be screened if you:
• compete in high impact sports that increases your heart rate for an extended period
• have a family history indicating that there is a heart disease risk, especially if someone died before age 50
• get dizziness during athletics
• experience fainting spells or weakness while participating
• get shortness of breath that does not clear quickly
• get chest pain while participating