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Heart Screening

18th
May
Pre-Registration

Heart Screening

Process

Step #1: Registration

Pre-register for a specific heart screening online or register in person on the day of the screening and complete the required consent forms. You will be asked to provide some personal health information and medical history, but rest assured that our forms and documentation are 100% secure, private, and encrypted and only accessible by our foundation staff and cardiologists. 

Step #2: Check In

On the day of the heart screening, please show up at your requested time appointment slot. We DO accept walk-in appointments, although wait times may be longer.

Step #3: Vitals

Patients will have their height, weight, blood pressure, and heart rate measured by a volunteer member.

Step #4: Electrocardiogram (EKG) Exam

Small patches with a mild latex-free adhesive will be placed on a patient’s chest, legs and arms by a volunteer member. Electrodes are attached to the patches and the heart’s electrical activity is recorded. The entire process is painless and non-invasive – no needles, skin pricks, or any other exposures!

Step #5: Echocardiogram (Echo) Exam

When indicated by our cardiologists, an echocardiogram exam (ultrasound of the heart aka an “Echo”) will be performed by a licensed technician at our heart screenings. This test specifically focuses on identifying structural heart abnormalities that may precipitate SCA events relevant to the younger demographic. Please note that not everyone will need an Echo performed. If selected to do an Echo, it is not an indication that something is wrong.

Step #6: Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) Training (optional)

After finishing your EKG exam and while waiting for a cardiologist to discuss your results, you can choose to get some basic training on how to properly perform CPR. Please note that this is not a formal American Heart Association (AHA) certification training, but rather an educational session. Participants are encouraged to become CPR certified by visiting https://cpr.heart.org/en/ to learn more.

Step #7: Cardiologist Consultation

You will meet with one of our partnered licensed cardiologists to discuss the results of your health questionnaire, vitals, EKG, and Echocardiogram. If you are told additional follow-up is needed by a member of our cardiology team, you will be asked to follow up with your own physician. If you do not have a medical provider, please alert a member of our team.

Please note that Saving Hearts Foundation only performs heart screenings and that we DO NOT make clinical diagnoses or advise on clinical decisions. You will be able to request a copy of your EKG by asking a member of our team to print a copy on the day of your screening, selecting the “Request EKG” button at the top of this webpage, or emailing [email protected].

Who can be screened?
  • Screenings are intended for any children, teens, or adults ages 12 to 35 only

  • Open to the public - you do not need to be a student at the host school

  • You do not need to be a student athlete to participate!

  • Must fill out the consent forms listed either online or fill out a physical form on the day of the screening. Individuals under the age of 18 must have a parent or guardian signature or approval prior to participating

Will every participant be asked to receive both an EKG and an Echocardiogram evaluation during a heart screening?
No. Every participant receives an EKG and then consults with the cardiologist to review their results. It is up to the discretion of the Foundation cardiologist to determine whether an Echocardiogram is needed to better evaluate a participant. Roughly 20-30% of our participants have an Echocardiogram evaluation of their heart performed at our heart screenings. Being asked by a cardiologist to receive an Echocardiogram is NOT confirmation that there is a heart problem.
What does it mean if my screening finding indicates that further evaluation is needed?
It may indicate the presence of a serious cardiac condition that may require further follow-up testing and treatment by another physician (your own primary care doctor, pediatrician, or cardiologist separate from Saving Hearts). You must contact your own physician to determine the need for further testing and treatment. If you do not have a health care provider, please inform a member of our Saving Hearts Foundation team.
Will my heart screening results be shared with the host facility or any member of my school administration?

Absolutely not. No information will be shared with your school administration, sports coach, or anyone else outside of Saving Hearts Foundation regarding the results of your screening We will request to receive a participant’s contact information from the school to follow up with individuals who have received a recommendation to follow up with their own physician to ensure that they understand the next steps they can take. Participants can opt to not receive any further communication with our team upon request.

Will I receive a clinical diagnosis based on the results of my screening?

No, this is only a heart screening. Saving Hearts Foundation DOES NOT make clinical diagnoses; rather, we only give recommendations for participants to reach out to their own physician should a serious heart condition be suspected by our cardiology team.

If the cardiologist suggests the need for follow up evaluation based on EKG findings, does that mean I have a life threatening condition?

Not necessarily. For this reason, we recommend any participants with a suspected abnormal EKG to follow up with their own physician to determine a final diagnosis and treatment plan as needed.

If my EKG is within normal limits, does it need to be repeated again in future years?
Current international guidelines recommend for individuals under the age of 25 to repeat EKGs every two years or perform one if they begin to experience warning signs or symptoms of SCA.
What are the warning signs and risk factors for an underlying heart condition?
  • Fainting

  • Seizures

  • Rapid heart rate

  • Chest pain or pressure

  • Skipped heartbeats

  • Unexplained fatigue

  • Lightheadedness 

  • Family history of known heart abnormalities or sudden death before age 40

  • Family members with unexplained fainting spells, seizures, near or fatal drowning episodes, or car accidents

  • Family members with known structural heart abnormalities (that are either unrepaired or have been repaired)

  • Recreational use of stimulants, inhalants, unprescribed medications, performance-enhancing supplements, or excessive energy drinks

What are the chances that my test is a false positive result?
When combined with an Echocardiogram evaluation, roughly 2% of EKG screenings will result in a false positive finding. A false positive EKG finding means that a heart abnormality was suspected initially but further testing demonstrates that there is no problem. Saving hearts believes that the benefit of this potentially life-saving screening outweighs this concern, especially when considering that other widely accepted tests have similar if not worse false positive rates (strep tests have a 2% false positive rate and rapid antigen tests often have false positive rates up to 10-15%). Saving Hearts Foundation’s clinical team makes every effort to ensure quality screening outcomes.
Does my participation in a Saving Hearts Foundation heart screening substitute for a yearly routine physical or pre-participation sports physical?

No. This screening does not substitute for a regular longitudinal (ongoing) relationship with a primary care physician, who is better attuned to your medical history and any changes in your health status. No screening can identify 100% of the individuals at risk for a sudden cardiac event. We encourage you to continue to have yearly physicals and to contact your medical provider with any concerns or changes in your health, particularly the warning signs and risk factors you’ve commented on in the screening packet. New American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines recommend regular heart screening for youth.