Rhythm of Our Youth Cardiac Screening Returns to Minooka H.S. and Premier Academy
January 11, 2019, MORRIS, IL – Morris Hospital will be holding its free Rhythm of Our Youth cardiac screening program for students at Minooka H.S. south campus on February 5 and 6 and Minooka H.S. central campus on February 20 and 21.
The purpose of the screening is to prevent sudden cardiac death in area high school students by identifying those who may have undiagnosed existing cardiac abnormalities. Screenings are typically held during PE class or study hall.
The screening will also be offered for students at Premier Academy in Morris on February 13.
On the screening days, a team of specially trained volunteers from Morris Hospital perform electrocardiogram (ECG) screenings free of charge to students who have received parental permission to participate. An electrocardiogram is a non-invasive, painless test that measures the electrical activity of the heart and detects certain heart abnormalities that can lead to sudden cardiac death. The test takes about three minutes to complete.
Based on results of the screenings, about 3 percent of students are referred to their physician for additional follow-up. Typically, less than 1 percent are found to have a medical problem that requires cardiac intervention. Results are sent home to the student’s parents and are not shared with the school.
According to Jori Christensen, MSN, MBA, RN, Director of Cardiovascular Services at Morris Hospital & Healthcare Centers, the EKG screening offered through Rhythm of Our Youth can offer clues to underlying heart problems.
“Sudden cardiac death claims more than 2,000 lives of children and adolescents in the United States each year,” says Christensen. “Most victims of sudden cardiac death have had underlying heart conditions that could have been detected through a simple ECG. Our goal is to help identify students who may have an undiagnosed heart problem before a serious incident occurs.”
Rhythm of Our Youth launched in 2016 with funding provided by generous donors to the Morris Hospital Foundation. Over the past two years, volunteers from Morris Hospital have screened more than 5,000 students at Dwight, Gardner-South Wilmington, Morris, Newark, Ottawa Marquette, Ottawa, Reed-Custer, Seneca, Wilmington, and Yorkville high schools, along with Yorkville Academy and Premier Academy. The screening is brought to each school every other year.
Parents should complete an electronic consent form prior to the screening day at their child’s school by going to www.morrishospital.org/rhythmofouryouth.
Volunteers are needed on each screening date and must be at least 18 years old, pass a background check and attend a mandatory one hour training session. To volunteer at the screening, call 815-705-7022 or complete the volunteer sign-up form at morrishospital.org/rhythmofouryouth.
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