Free teen heart screening aims to detect hidden heart conditions for local youth

May 22, 2018

Ferndale, Washington — Sudden Cardiac Death (SCD) is the leading cause of mortality in athletes during sport and exercise.1 Because these deaths are typically the result of hidden heart defects and abnormalities, the Teen Heart Screening event, a community venture, will offer free evaluations to detect undiagnosed heart conditions that put youth at risk. The screening will take place on Wednesday, May 30, from 8:00 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the Ferndale High School gymnasium in Ferndale, Washington.

The Teen Heart Screening is a collaboration between PeaceHealth, Ferndale High School, Boston Scientific, Cardiac Insight and Whatcom County Fire Districts #1, 7 and 14. The May 30 event is supported by community organizations who shared both financial and volunteer support. These include:  Kelley Insurance Agency & Financial Services, Inc.; FanFare Events; Mended Hearts and Young Mended Hearts – Bellingham chapters; Ferndale High School faculty and students; PeaceHealth and community physicians; registered nurses and EMS volunteers. It is the seventh teen heart screening offered in partnership with PeaceHealth and community organizations since June 2014. Screening events are hosted by area high schools and offered twice 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; electrocardiograms (ECGs) for each participant, on-site physician review of test results; as well as echocardiograms (ultrasound) for those who require further testing.

The free event is open to any Whatcom 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 heart health survey questionnaire, and parent or guardian permission is required.

For more information about the event, please visit peacehealth.org/teen-heart-screen. Registration for the Teen Heart Screening can be initiated through Ferndale High School (enrolled students); or for youth living outside the school district, by contacting the PeaceHealth Cardiovascular Center at 360-788-6197.

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About PeaceHealth: Based in Vancouver, Wash., PeaceHealth is a not-for-profit Catholic health system offering care to communities in Washington, Oregon and Alaska. In 1890, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace founded what has become PeaceHealth. PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center provides quality care for northwest Washington with its full-service 253-bed hospital and PeaceHealth Medical Group clinics. Key services in Bellingham include comprehensive cardiology, oncology, orthopedic and rehabilitation services and a joint venture outpatient imaging service.

1 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28231933

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