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SVMHS to screen student athletes for congenital heart issues

Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System launches a program to help screen for congenital heart issues.

More than 100 student athletes will undergo heart screenings at Gonzales High Schools on Friday as Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System launches a program to help screen for congenital heart issues.

Electrocardiogram (EKG) technicians will conduct the heart screenings in the GHS gymnasium from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

SVMHS ER physicians will be there to read the results of the EKGs. If abnormalities were to be found, an onsite echocardiogram would be done and the student would be provided with a list of recommended pediatric cardiologists to consult with after the screening. Students will also receive a copy of their EKG results and notes from the physicians indicating what was observed.

Sudden Cardiac Arrest is the leading cause of death among young athletes and these screenings could save lives. The comprehensive and unique project is called S.E.E. which stands for Screen, Educate, and Equip.

“These free heart screenings will provide peace of mind and possibly lifesaving information to the athletes and their families,” says Pete Delgado, President/CEO of Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System. “It’s a safety net for at- risk cases. Education is key to a healthy life and we are providing the students with the tools to accomplish that goal.”

The S.E.E. program is the only program of its kind in the tri-county area. Children’s Miracle Network Hospital at Salinas Valley Memorial funds the program to address the threat to young athletes who appear healthy and have no known medical conditions.

The program was unveiled in September when CMN provided Gonzales High School with two new Automated External Defibrillators and dozens of students were taught to perform cardio pulmonary resuscitation. As part of the program, all 750 students and faculty will receive education and training in CPR and AED.

Taylor Farms is donating hundreds of fresh healthy snack packs to students while they wait to be screened. Taylor Farms has expanded operations in South County and partnered with Salinas Valley Memorial in building the Taylor Farms Family Health & Wellness Center in Gonzales.

Article credit: The Californian