This month’s free youth heart screening at Oakmont High School in Roseville exceeded all expectations, with 525 young people attending. The daylong event helped to identify undiagnosed heart conditions in youths 12 to 25 years old.
“This event blew our previous events out of the water!” said Rebecca McCormac, Project ADAM Sacramento coordinator, who said past events have seen an average of 300 attendees. “We have never had so many people show up to be screened before.”
The increase is likely due to several high-profile cardiac events this year, including the shocking collapse of Bronney James during college basketball practice, which has raised awareness about sudden cardiac arrest and the importance of screening for undetected heart conditions, McCormac said.
“We ended up taking about 100 walk-ins, before we had to cut it off,” she added. “We were inundated.”
Young people from across the Sacramento region filled the gym to receive a cardiac risk assessment, an electrocardiogram (EKG), a physician review and CPR training.
An EKG is a simple and painless test that records the heart’s electrical activity using small sticky electrode patches attached to the skin of the chest. Structural and electrical heart issues that cause sudden cardiac arrest in young people can often be seen in an EKG.
Of the 525 young people who were screened:
- 15 received abnormal results, including diagnoses of Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome, tricuspid regurgitation and Long QT syndrome, which can be life-threatening if left untreated
- 34 had normal results, but were referred to their primary care physician or a specialist for follow-up care, due to symptoms including high blood pressure or shortness of breath.
- 59 received follow-up echocardiograms on-site, a procedure in which an ultrasound probe is placed on the chest and pictures are taken. Many participants were referred to follow-up care with their provider.
More free youth heart screenings will be offered next spring and fall, McCormac said. “We are so happy that the community has embraced these events.”
According to health statistics, 1 in 300 youth has an undiagnosed heart condition that puts them at risk for sudden cardiac arrest.
About the Kyle J. Taylor Foundation
The Kyle J. Taylor Foundation was started in 2018 in honor of Kyle Taylor, who passed away in February of 2018 from sudden cardiac arrest at the age of 18. Kyle was always a loving, kind, spirited, healthy young man with no known heart issues. His parents wanted to honor Kyle’s legacy by bringing awareness to sudden cardiac arrest in youth, the steps to prevent it, and how to respond to it. By doing this important work, the foundation’s mission is to help in preventing another family from losing their child or loved one to sudden cardiac arrest. To learn more about the foundation, visit the website at kylejtaylor.org
About Project ADAM Sacramento
Project ADAM is committed to saving lives by preventing sudden cardiac death where young people learn and play. It is not enough to have an automated external defibrillator (AED) in the building — having a documented plan, a designated and prepared response team, and a regularly practiced emergency response drill are critical to success. Project ADAM provides the foundation for schools and community organizations to develop their program by providing resources, education and training. Project ADAM help schools become a Heart Safe School. Visit the website for more information.