Heart Hospital of Austin screens teens
March 01, 2012
AUSTIN (KXAN) - Students in the Austin area received a free gift for their hearts Saturday thanks to Heart Hospital of Austin.
The free heart screenings for students ages 14 through 18, included a 12-lead electrocardiogram and ultrasound picture of the heart, in an effort to detect Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM).
Ben Breedlove , a teenager from Austin died on Christmas Day from HCM. He gained notoriety for his condition after posting a YouTube video which went viral, garnering over 1 million views.
HCM is a serious genetic heart condition in which the heart muscle thickens. It affects one in 500 student athletes every year, often without warning.
Most people could not tell Breedlove had the heart muscle disease that makes it difficult to pump blood. Even when it showed, he wasn't fazed.
“HCM is a leading cause of sudden cardiac death among young athletes,” Kunjan Bhatt, M.D., clinical cardiologist at Heart Hospital of Austin, said. “While it is relatively easy to detect through medical screenings, because it often has no symptoms, HCM can strike with no notice and can be fatal if it is not diagnosed and treated.”
An EKG and echocardiogram, which take about five minutes each, are non-invasive and painless screening tools.
During Saturday’s screenings results were reviewed by a cardiologist. Heart Hospital of Austin also featured CPR demonstrations, as well as a display of the latest cardiovascular treatment technologies.
If you missed Saturday’s free screening there’s still time for another one. Heart Hospital of Austin will offer an additional screening on Saturday, Aug. 4, from 8 a.m. to noon, at Heart Hospital of Austin, located at 3801 North Lamar Blvd.
Each student must have a questionnaire filled out by a parent or guardian upon arrival and appointments are required.