Central Catholic students wait for EKG screenings on Friday. (photo by Zach Dietmeier/WJBC)
By Zach Dietmeier
BLOOMINGTON - Bloomington Central Catholic High School students are helping to promote heart health awareness with a youth EKG pilot program.
Advocate BroMenn Medical Center is partnering with the school to offer all students screenings designed to reduce risk for sudden cardiac death in teens, according to Community Wellness co-organizer Karen King.
"We're just delighted at how well this has gone," said King. "It really says a lot about the volunteers that we have and the people who work so closely and cooperatively with us."
Volunteers and cardiac staff helped to administer tests to around 300 Central Catholic students Friday. Those volunteers included State Representative Dan Brady.
"I think it's a great idea," said Brady. "Anything we can do to catch any type of heart disease, malfunctions, or irregularities is certainly great. I commend Advocate BroMenn for finding a local school to partner with to try and worth through it first."
Brady is an alumnus of Central Catholic and a board member for Advocate. His daughter Danielle is a student and received an EKG test at the screening.
King said the idea for local screenings came from work already being done in the Chicago area.
"In fact, at every school they have on their list, they do this on a two year basis," said King. "We want to set it up so that every local school is screened every two years."
She said one or two students at risk are usually discovered at every testing. Sudden cardiac arrest claims roughly 30 teenagers a week in the U.S. King added that more screenings will be scheduled with the new year at other local high schools.
Zach Dietmeier can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.