Hospital Pushes Cardiac Screenings For Young Athletes

(CBS) — We hear the stories from time to time: a seemingly healthy young athlete suddenly collapses and dies, for no apparent reason. Now, with school sports programs gearing up, a suburban hospital is trying to do something about it.

WBBM’s Regine Schlesinger reports.

Each year, more than 3,000 American children and teenagers die while playing sports from a heart problem they didn’t know they had. Advocate Children’s Hospital in Oak Lawn is working with the organization, Young Hearts for Life, to prevent such sudden deaths.

Hospital Pushes For Athlete Screening

Dr. Frank Zimmerman says a relatively inexpensive electrocardiogram can catch many undetected heart problems. He said many parents aren’t aware how important it is.

“Sometimes they don’t want to go looking for something that might be wrong with their kid on the outside looks perfectly healthy,” Zimmerman says.

Through Young Hearts for Life, schools can arrange for EKG screenings for their athletes, something that that Dr. Zimmerman thinks should be required for every child playing organized sports.

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