Depending on how many people participate in the screening event, the average time takes about 45 minutes for registration, vitals measurements, an ECG and ECHO, along with checkout. The screening process including height, weight, and blood pressure measures, as well as an ECG and ECHO, takes around 20 minutes. NOTE: AVERAGE WAIT TIME VARIES.
Students will need to bring signed consent forms with them to the event OR be accompanied by a parent/guardian who can sign a consent form available at the venue. Students should wear comfortable clothing (gym attire is suggested).
No, you will not need to accompany your child to the screening as long as they have signed consent forms at the time of the screening. We recommend coming with your child to the event when possible to ensure that the results are received.
Risk of developing Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM) increases with age. Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy is a serious heart condition that is the leading cause of sudden cardiac death in young athletes. Rarely having any identifiable symptoms, HCM affects approximately 1 in 500 student athletes. The possibility of having a cardiac event because of HCM increases with physical activity. Ages 14 to 18 are screened because the heart is closer to maturity and competitive sports participation and/or physical activity may be increased during high school.
The echocardiogram (ultrasound of the heart) is an extremely useful test for studying the heart’s anatomy. It is non-invasive and entirely safe. Your child will lie on an exam table and a sonographer (echo technician) will move a transducer (a device that looks like a computer mouse) against your child’s chest. The technician will apply a gel to your child’s chest to aid in moving the transducer.
The transducer sends sound waves toward the heart and sound waves bounce off the heart, and are collected by the transducer. These returning sound waves are processed by a computer, assembled into a two-dimensional image of the heart, and displayed on a TV screen.
The ‘limited’ ECHO (4-5 images in black/white) is a cost-effective and time efficient way to provide heart screenings because a full comprehensive ECHO can be expensive and coverage from insurance is not often provided. The ‘limited’ ECHO focuses on specific areas of the heart and takes about 3 to 5 minutes to scan for defects.
An ECG records the electrical activity of the heart. It is used to detect rhythm disorders such as Long QT Syndrome or Wolff Parkinson White Syndrome. The ‘limited’ ECHO captures images of the heart structure. These detailed images are very helpful for detecting abnormalities of heart wall thickness such as HCM – the leading cause of sudden cardiac death in young athletes. ‘Limited’ ECHO images can also reveal congenital heart valve defects such as Bicuspid Aortic Valve, where the aortic heart valve has only two leaflets instead of three.
The Texas Adolescent Athlete Heart Screening Registry (TAAHSR™) is a five-year research project created by the Championship Hearts Foundation in 2010 to establish a database of adolescent heart measurements. This information is intended to aid adolescent cardiology research and diagnosis in the future. All information is saved only with the consent of students/parents and all names are removed from the database to maintain privacy.
No. HCM and most cardiac abnormalities cannot be detected with a routine sports physical.
No. Current guidelines from the UIL (University Interscholastic League) require high school students engaging in athletics to complete a cardiac questionnaire, undergo a physical examination by a family physician, pediatrician or chiropractor, and sign a Sudden Cardiac Awareness Form.
A murmur is the sound of blood moving through the heart. It is often a normal finding, but can be associated with heart abnormalities. Championship Hearts Foundation screenings are for detecting cardiomyopathies and other rhythm abnormalities. We would be happy to screen your child for these conditions, but recommend that if you have been told your child has a murmur to see a pediatric cardiologist for a complete evaluation and to rule out other conditions that are associated with a murmur.
Unless cardiac symptoms are present, a screening at age 15 or later is usually all that is needed.
Our screenings have confirmed that 1 in 250 students is at risk for sudden cardiac death related issues.
If an abnormality is found in your child, the volunteer cardiologist that interpreted the tests will recommend a full evaluation by a pediatric cardiologist. Championship Hearts will provide you with materials to guide you through the process to receive a full evaluation. The Foundation will also assist in contacting a pediatric cardiologist to help you through follow-up.
HCM can be inherited, caused by an abnormal gene that codes for the heart muscle. HCM can affect each individual differently, and many people never display or develop symptoms. Healthy individuals can possess the abnormality. It can also be acquired as a result of high blood pressure or aging.
HCM is relatively rare in the general population. Approximately 1 in 500 people possess the abnormality, but only 1 in 200,000 will have a life threatening event because of the disease. Since these event are very rare, media attention is often not focused on the disease. HCM is usually talked about after an event of sudden cardiac arrest or death in young athletes.
Our large-scale heart screening events can be setup in high school gyms and cafeterias, small medical clinics and hospitals. Booster clubs, local businesses, and hospitals help provide our screenings free to a community. To find out more info, click here and fill out the inquiry form. Also visit Screen Across America to see if a screening entity in your area can help!