Over the last 8 years, at least 29 Michigan high school students have died of sudden cardiac arrest.

Attend a heart screening event or learn how you can donate. $10 can save a life.

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The majority of young athletes who die suddenly have previously undetected structural heart disease, most notably, an enlargement of the heart known as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM).

HCM is one of the most deadly heart problems student athletes face. It can often be diagnosed during a pre-participation athletic screening which includes a brief heart exam, 12-lead electrocardiogram (ECG) and, if appropriate, an echocardiogram.

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According to an Italian medical study, screening athletes with a family and personal history and a 12 lead ECG reduced the rate of sudden cardiac death in Italian student athletes by 89%.

Actions for raising awareness of sudden cardiac death in your athletes include heart screening, making coaches/athletes/parents aware of warning signs and symptoms; having automated external defibrillator (AED) devices available at sports venues; and establishing an emergency response plan that is practiced on a regular basis.

Exercise and student athletics play an important role in the overall health of children. Sudden cardiac death does not occur often, but is tragic when it does.

Statistics of kids screened in the Beaumont program as of July 14, 2011

  • 6,685 students screened
  • 663 required some type of follow-up
  • 41 advised not to play sports until after a follow up with a cardiologist
  • 5 potentially life threatening problems found
  • 1 case of HCM discovered

Statistics from the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Association:

  • Sudden cardiac arrest kills nearly 300,000 Americans each year
  • 1,000 deaths a day to sudden cardiac arrest
  • 5,000 to 7,000 of the deaths are young people
  • 3,000 fit into the age range of 14-24
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This information was provided courtesy of Beaumont Hospital for the Student Heart Check partnership with 97.1 The Ticket.