On Thursday, Sept. 12, 1,936 Downers Grove South High School students were screened through the Young Hearts for Life® (YH4L) Cardiac Screening Program. In addition, more than 130 community members volunteered throughout the day.
“Young Hearts for Life is significantly making an impact on the important health issue of undetected heart issues in young people,” Ed Schwartz, principal of South High, said. “We’re grateful to the community sponsors for bringing this life-saving program to our students.”
YH4L provides a heart screening called an electrocardiogram (ECG) to identify high school students at risk for sudden cardiac death, and to increase the public's awareness of this issue. Recording the electrical activity of the heart, using electrodes attached to the skin, can detect approximately 60% of the abnormalities or “markers” from these heart conditions that are associated with sudden cardiac death, which a stethoscope cannot detect.
"Once again, we had another successful screening at DGS,” said Dr. Joseph Marek, Founder & Medical Director of YH4L and Cardiologist at Advocate Medical Group. “Students were identified with potentially life threatening cardiac conditions because of this screening, and parents were notified of next steps. It is because of our generous sponsors and volunteers that we are able to offer this life-saving test."
YH4L is able to provide these screenings free of charge to students with parental permission, thanks to generous sponsors including the Kenneth Brooks Holland Memorial Fund, Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital, District 99 Education Foundation, and Young Hearts for Life Donors. Hospitality donors, who provided food and drinks for volunteers, include Chick-fil-A Willowbrook, Zoup! Woodridge, and Peet's Coffee Downers Grove.
YH4L visits District 99 every two years as this is the recommendation for regular ECG testing for young adults. YH4L will screen North High students on February 27, 2020.
To date, more than 240,000 students have been screened as a result of YH4L. For more information about YH4L, visit www.yh4l.org.