VCS and AdventHealth Partner to Screen Student-Athletes for Cardiac Health
Written by Kristen Schmutz
Belden Communications News
Volusia County Schools formed a partnership with AdventHealth providing Student-athletes free electrocardiogram (ECG) screenings on top of the annual state-required sports physicals for middle and high schoolers.
According to a release, sudden cardiac arrest is one of the leading causes of death among high school athletes. The goal of the screenings, approved Tuesday by the Volusia County School Board, is early detection and treatment of heart abnormalities.
“Cardiac screening has the potential to save the lives of student-athletes, and we are very excited to start the program this summer through our partnership with AdventHealth,” said VCS Superintendent Dr. Scott Fritz.
The ECG screenings will be offered free of charge at the AdventHealth sports physical event for students in June.
The cardiac screenings, which can detect heart rhythm abnormalities, are voluntary for the 2021-2022 school year but will be required for student-athletes beginning with the following year.
“Through our historic partnership, AdventHealth has pledged to be a leader for best practices in sports medicine, delivering protocols and providing medical support that ultimately improves the health and safety of our student-athletes here in Volusia County,” said Erik Nason, sports medicine manager for AdventHealth.
Including heart screenings as part of student physicals, along with quick access to Automated External Defibrillators (AED), are among the best practices for preventing catastrophic sports-related injury, according to the Inter-Association Task Force for Preventing Sudden Death in Secondary School Athletics Programs.
In addition to the new cardiac tests, VCS purchased 30 additional AEDs last fall to ensure quick access at games, practices, and other events in case of an emergency among students, coaches, faculty, or spectators.
Funding for the AEDs was provided through the school district’s partnership with AdventHealth.
AdventHealth will offer ECG screenings with Who We Play For, a nonprofit aiming to eliminate preventable sudden cardiac arrest among students.
Registration for AdventHealth’s free sports physicals for student-athletes for the 2021-2022 school year will open May 3. The free event will be held June 3-5 in the Rolex Lounge of the Daytona International Speedway.
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