Free heart screening for 12-25-year-olds set for Feb. 24

Event has benefitted FCUSD students
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While few parents think of heart issues as something that could affect children, an estimated one in five hundred school aged children suffer from an undiagnosed heart defect, many of which could lead to cardiac arrest and death. And the risk of complications can be higher for students who are active in sports, gymnastics, dance or other strenuous activities. Often the first warning sign is death.

To help find these hidden abnormalities, the Via Heart Project will conduct a free screening open to all young people aged 12-25 on Sunday, February 24, at Cordova High School, 2239 Chase Drive, Rancho Cordova, CA 95670.

The event is generously sponsored by the Folsom Cordova Unified School District the HCF, Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Foundation, and Race to Keep Hearts Beating.

The event has been held the last two years in Folsom and the results follow:

2017 FCUSD event results – 402 students screened

  • 12 students needed follow up:
  • 6 for shortness of breath
  • 1 for high blood pressure
  • 5 for cardiac issues
  • 57 echos were performed

2016 FCUSD event results: 286 students screened

  • 20 students needed follow up:
  • 3 for asthma
  • 8 for high blood pressure
  • 9 for cardiac issues
  • 89 echos were performed

The screening is conducted by volunteer Sacramento and Bay Area health professionals, including cardiologists, sonographers, and nurses. It includes a health history interview, EKG test, and a focused echocardiogram. The entire process takes about 60-90 minutes, and is totally non-invasive—there are no needles or x-ray exposure. Each teen’s confidentiality, privacy, and individual modesty is respected throughout.

This screening is important because some 7,000 to 10,000 school-aged children die each year nationwide from sudden cardiac arrest, often from conditions that could have been detected in advance. Yet neither EKG nor cardiac ultrasound is included in the typical annual physical. Via Heart Project screening is supplementary to, but does not replace, a child’s annual exam or school sports physical. Participants will also have the option to learn cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and automatic external defibrillator (AED) skills during the screening.

“Any parent who has lost a child to a preventable health issue knows the pain of wondering what could have been done before it was too late. If we can prevent even one family from going through that pain, then what we have done is worth it,” said Liz Lazar-Johnson, Executive Director of Via Heart Project.

To participate, go to to register and download a health form and signed parental consent, both of which should be filled out and brought to the screening. Registration opens at 9 a.m., Monday, January 14, 2019 and closes at noon on February 22, 2019 and is limited to 500 people.