Do you know what the most common cause of death in the US is? You may think it's cancer, stroke or motor vehicle accident, but you're wrong. Sudden Cardiac Arrest, or SCA, tops the list say researchers from the Cleveland Clinic, and it can happen in very young people. At Grand Rapids Cardiology, your heart doctor, Dr. Ronald VanderLaan, screen students for undetected heart issues. The aim is peace of mind and saving of lives.
The importance of student heart screening
It's a growing trend, helping to avoid the tragedies of young lives cut short by structural or electrical abnormalities within heart tissue. Valve problems, underdeveloped chambers, holes the septum (dividing wall within the heart) and poorly functioning electrical systems can abruptly and permanently halt a heart beat, cease blood flow and deprive the brain of essential oxygen.
However, simple screening at Grand Rapids Cardiology uncovers these problems. Dr. VanderLaan offers simple cardiac testing at Grand Rapids Cardiology. For a minimal fee ($35), patients 12 through 40 may be examined for cardiac defects. The screenings are particularly important for people who play school sports or anticipate doing so.
A screening at Grand Rapids Cardiology includes vital signs, weight, and medical history. Your health care provider will note your family history, too, particularly if close relatives have suffered cardiovascular disease or SCA before the age of 50.
Additionally, patients should mention experiencing symptoms such as:
- Shortness of breath
- Rapid heartbeat (tachycardia)
- Episodes of extreme fatigue
Students receive an electrocardiogram (EKG) to detect any electrical problems within the heart, and as deemed necessary, an echocardiogram to investigate the size and structure of the heart as it functions in real time. An echocardiogram reveals issues with the chambers, septum and valves in the heart.
Both EKG and echocardiogram are simple, non-invasive tests which can be comfortably and quickly performed right in the cardiologist's office. Results are interpreted without delay; so you know if the heart is healthy or if further investigation is required.
Book your screening
Student heart screening is so easy and so worth it. Please contact Grand Rapids Cardiology today to arrange it. Make sure that young heart is healthy! Phone (616) 717-5141.