By Polly Keary, Editor
A low-cost opportunity to have high school age students, especially athletes, screened for potentially fatal heart conditions turned up two serious conditions and identified a number of potential conditions last week.
The Nick of Time Foundation was created by the mother and aunt of a Mill Creek high school student who died of sudden cardiac arrest following a strenuous day of football, due to a previously-unsuspected congenital heart defect. The foundation works with high schools to come in and offer a one-day screening clinic at low cost to try to prevent such occurrences in other schools.
Each students is given an electrocardiogram, which is not included in most medical checkups, and which cost up to $100 in copays for those with insurance and up to $3,000 for those without.
Kids found to have irregular EKG results get on onsite additional exam, sometimes to include an echocardiogram.
The founders explained in January that they typically will find at least two students in each school who have serious but unsuspected conditions.
Monroe was no exception.
Volunteer cardiology professionals screened 440 students Friday.
“Two students were found to have problems requiring immediate follow-up and 17 will be following up with cardiologists less urgently because of symptoms or family history,” the organization reported following the event.
The event was facilitated by a large number of volunteers, including Monroe Rotary Club members, the medical volunteers of the Nick of Time Foundation, Monroe Sports Medicine, MHS video production students and Monroe Bearcat Pride parents.
The Monroe Fire Department raised $4,000 to help pay for the event and sent 30 volunteers, many of whom were qualified to perform EKG tests.
Valley General Hospital loaned 250 hospital gowns. And the Monroe High School staff handled registration and coordination.