The Texas Heart Institute’s Center for Coronary Artery Anomalies will be conducting heart screenings for Houston-area middle- and high-school students during the school “spring break” period, March 10-21, 2014, as part of a medical study into the causes of sudden cardiac death in young people.
The screenings, open to youths ages 11 to 18, will be conducted in the Texas Medical Center at no cost to participants, but parental consent is required and parents must make appointments.
Cases of sudden cardiac death are tied to heart conditions that some children are born with, and that are difficult to detect. The high-precision screening studies include an EKG and MRI of the heart that can help spot these high risk-conditions. There are no needles, injections, ionizing radiation or blood tests involve and a screening typically takes about 45 minutes.
The Texas Heart Institute study, funded with support from Houston’s Kinder Foundation and other contributors, has screened several thousand students to date from across the greater Houston area. While the vast majority of screening studies resulted in reassuring normal findings, a number resulted in referrals to specialists who are currently attending to these children with high-risk conditions that in all likelihood would have remained undetected and untreated.