Cardiac related death is responsible for 70% of non-traumatic deaths during sports in young athletes. Because such deaths are typically the result of hidden heart defects and abnormalities, the Teen Heart Screen, a community venture, will offer free evaluations to detect undiagnosed heart conditions that put youth at risk. The screening is hosted by Meridian High School. It will take place on Wednesday, Feb. 15, from 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., at the Meridian High School gym in Bellingham, Washington.
The Teen Heart Screen is a collaboration between PeaceHealth, Meridian High School, Boston Scientific, Cardiac Insight, Whatcom County Fire Districts #1, 7, 14 and Lynden Fire Department. It is supported by many community sponsors, including Kelley Insurance, Woods Coffee, Safeco Insurance, Hilltop Restaurant and Catering and Mended Hearts. It is the sixth teen heart screening offered in partnership with PeaceHealth and community organizations, and event organizers plan on hosting two screenings per year in locations throughout Whatcom County.
The screening process lasts approximately 30 minutes. It includes CPR and automated external defibrillator (AED) training; blood pressure, height and weight measurements; physical examinations; and electrocardiograms (ECGs) for each participant, as well as echocardiograms (echo) for those who require further testing.
The event is open to any youth between the ages of 14 and 24, regardless of enrollment. It is limited to the first 250 applicants on a first-come, first-served basis. Participants must first complete a full health survey questionnaire, and parent or guardian permission is required.
Registration for the Teen Heart Screen can be initiated by contacting Deanna Ellefson at DEllefson@peacehealth.org or (360) 788-8141.