Miami Children’s Hospital offering free teen athlete heart screening

By Rachel Perry….

Dr. Anthony Rossi provides an ECG to teen basketball player Edgar Martinez of Coral Gables.

Miami Children’s Hospital (MCH) is offering free electrocardiograms (ECGs or EKGs) to middle and high school athletes in an effort to identify those at risk of sudden cardiac death and prevent tragedy.

“Every three days, sudden cardiac death takes the life of a young U.S. athlete such as a girl playing soccer, a boy at basketball practice or a high school football player,” said Dr. Anthony Rossi, medical director of the Pediatric Cardiac Intensive Care Unit at MCH.

“Often these young people die without exhibiting advance signs of a heart problem,” he said. “What’s more, a typical school or sports physical examination won’t detect a potentially dangerous heart problem.”

Dr. Rossi said an ECG can help identify children with heart anomalies so that they can receive the treatment they need for a long and healthy life.

“No child should die from a preventable cause. Please consider this free screening test as a gift to your family.”

The screenings are available by appointment at five MCH locations, including the hospital’s main campus near Coral Gables, as well as at MCH outpatient centers in Doral, Palmetto Bay, West Kendall and Weston. In addition, the hospital has conducted several community screenings, including events held at the Palmetto Bay YMCA in November, utilizing the hospital’s Health on Wheels mobile health unit.

Parents wishing to schedule an ECG for their child can do so by calling 786-624-3292.

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