Free Teen Heart Screening Could Prevent Sudden Cardiac Arrest
Open to any youth age 12 to 19
Sunday, November 8th, 9 am – 3 pm Francis Parker School in Linda Vista
Each year, thousands of kids in the U.S. die when their heart unexpectedly stops beating due to a Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) caused by an undetected heart abnormality. To combat this syndrome that is the #2 cause of death under 25 and the #1 killer of student athletes, the Eric Paredes Save A Life Foundation is hosting a free heart screening on Sunday, November 8th from 9am-3pm at the Francis Parker School in Linda Vista (6501 Linda Vista Rd. San Diego 92111)
The EP Save A Life Foundation has screened more than 17,500 youths, finding 1 in 100 with a heart abnormality that unknowingly put them at risk. Parents can register youth age 12 to 19 for the free screening at EPSaveALife.org, where they download a screening packet, complete and bring to the event.
“SCA is not a heart attack. It’s an abnormality in the heart’s electrical system that may be detected with a simple EKG. And even though the first symptom of SCA could be death, screenings are not a part of youth health checkups or pre-participation sports physicals, which is why Eric’s Foundation provides free heart screenings to area teens,” said Hector and Rhina Paredes, founders of Eric’s Foundation.
The heart screening consists of a health history questionnaire completed by a parent, an electrocardiogram (EKG), and if indicated, a limited echocardiogram. It takes less than 30 minutes and is painless and non-invasive (no needles or x-ray exposure). Screenings are conducted by a 150-member volunteer team of San Diego cardiologists, nurses, techs and non-medical staff led by the foundation’s medical director, Dr. John Rogers, a Scripps cardiologist, who was recognized nationally by Parent Heart Watch as a 2014 Hero for Young Hearts.
Because SCA is fatal in 92% of cases if not treated within minutes, the screening also features demonstrations of hands-only CPR and automated external defibrillation (AED), the only two life-saving measures once SCA strikes. The demonstration is a precursor to the hopeful passage of Assembly Bill 319 that calls for CPR training in CA high schools.
Founded to honor the Steele Canyon High School teen who lost his life to SCA at 15 in 2009, Eric’s Foundation strives to educate parents, educators, physicians and elected officials about the prevalence of SCA among teens and the importance of standardizing EKGs as part their regular health care. Established in 2010, the non-profit foundation provides free cardiac screenings to teens, with the ultimate goal of standardizing screenings among our youth, and equipping our schools with readily accessible, automated external defibrillators (AED) with CPR/AED training for students and staff. For more information, visit www.EPSaveALife.org.