Tenafly students offered screenings for deadly heart abnormality

February 15, 2016

TENAFLY — It’s a silent killer and a leading cause of death in young athletes, but it often goes undiagnosed because most victims display few symptoms before it strikes.

Sudden cardiac arrest may affect as many as 7,037 people under 18 annually, according to estimates by the American Heart Association. But tragedy can be prevented if a cardiac problem is detected in advance. And with proper treatment, children with cardiac issues can lead active and healthy lives.

Despite that reality, children are not routinely screened for heart problems with an electrocardiogram, or EKG, which records electrical signals as they travel through the heart.

On March 12, students in the Tenafly school district ages 8 to 19 will have the opportunity to be screened for heart abnormalities in a program organized by Tenafly’s Protect a Heart Committee together with Simon’s Fund, a non-profit that administers free screenings. The test, conducted by cardiologists from Englewood Hospital and Medical Center who have volunteered for the event, will take about 30 minutes and involves recording the heart’s electrical activity using electrodes attached to the skin with a mild adhesive.

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PHOTO: Jennifer Yanowitz of the Protect a Heart Committee is organizing testing in the district to find signs of future problems. Photographed by Chris Pedota.