Student athletes get free heart screenings at Highland Hospital

Posted at: 11/09/2013 5:41 PM
Updated at: 11/09/2013 7:32 PM

Dozens of local student athletes had the chance to be screened for a potentially life-threatening heart condition on Saturday.

It's called hypertrophic obstructive cardiomyopathy and it's a leading cause of sudden death in athletes.

Medical experts at Highland Hospital say this particular condition can be difficult to pick up during routine physicals. They say supplemental tests like this can ben beneficial for student athletes.

"Certainly we don't want to convey that this would take the place of a normal physical exam, and really we're just trying to provide that extra little bit of reassurance and see if this is something that we can devise a way to identify and prevent something bad from happening in our own community,” said Dr. Chad Teeters, Chief of Cardiology at Highland Hospital.

Doctors say the condition restricts blood flow from the heart and causes it to have to work harder.

In the United States about 500,000 people have this particular heart condition and doctors say most people aren't even aware of it.