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Free Cardiac Screenings Offered This Week to Downers Grove North Students

It is estimated that each week, sudden cardiac death claims the lives of more than 60 young adults in the U.S.

Credit: Community High School District 99 press release 

Over 5,000 students at North High and South High have the opportunity to receive complimentary ECG (electrocardiogram) screenings from the Young Hearts for Life (YH4L) program. 

Medical staff and trained volunteers will provide the testing on March 7 at North High and April 10 and 11 at South High to those students whose parents grant permission.

Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital, the District 99 Education Foundation and The Ken Holland Memorial Fund helped made the free screenings possible. 

It is estimated that each week, sudden cardiac death claims the lives of more than 60 young adults in the U.S. 

The leading cause of sudden cardiac death in young adults is triggered by a hidden heart defect, which the ECG is intended to detect. It’s predicted that one-third of deaths may have been prevented through an ECG. 

The simple and painless test can detect about 60 percent of the abnormalities associated with sudden cardiac death that a stethoscope cannot detect.

Dr. Joseph Marek, a cardiologist who practices at Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital and who is the Medical Director for YH4L, advises that students of all levels of physical activity be tested—and also be tested whether or not they participate in a sport.

“Heart conditions that might not be apparent at one point might develop later, so it’s important that kids have a screening every two years,” said Dr. Marek.  International recommendations are to repeat the ECG every other year through age 25.

If the ECG results show that a further evaluation is needed, students are referred to their family physician.

The program relies on support from volunteers. For information about the volunteer schedule at North High, visithttp://north.csd99.org/activities/young-hearts-for-life/ . To volunteer at South High, email dgsparentshelp@csd99.org.

 The Young Hearts for Life Cardiac Scr

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