Houston Early Age Risk Testing & Screening Study (HEARTS™)
Photos from Key Middle school visit
Dr. John Higgins & Houston Rockets center Dikembe Mutombo team up to help save young athletes from sudden death.
What is HEARTS™?
HEARTS™ is a study to detect any abnormal heart conditions that can cause the heart to arrest (suddenly and unexpectedly stop beating).
HEARTS™ study aims:
- To develop an efficient and economical program whereby sixth grade students receive a 15-minute cardiovascular screening to include:
- Cardiovascular physical exam
- EKG or Electrocardiogram (electrical tracing of the heart)
- Echocardiogram (cardiac ultrasound)
- To determine the accuracy of this screening in detecting heart problems in children.
Why we are doing HEARTS™?
- Approximately one out of every 100 children have an undiagnosed heart condition
- Physician histories and physicals are not sufficient to detect these conditions
- Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) occurs in approximately one out of 100,000 students each year
- In Texas, there have been 63 SCA deaths reported among K-12 students since 2001
- Following SCA, less than 10% survive
- No standard screening of school or college athletes exists
- In Italy, a national heart screening program has reduced SCA in young athletes.
- By identifying 6th grade students with underlying cardiac conditions, we seek to prevent SCA via treatment & appropriate exercise limitations.
Who will be doing HEARTS™?
Memorial Hermann Healthcare System, The University of Texas Medical School at Houston, Houston Rockets, American Heart Association Greater Houston/South Texas (South Central Affiliate) and Houston Independent School District have partnered together to create the HEARTS™ study.
The HEARTS™ medical team is experienced in the detection and treatment of such heart diseases in children and adults. Currently they provide medical care for athletes in the National Basketball Association (NBA) pre-draft, Houston Rockets, Rice University, and other high-school students at the Memorial Hermann Sports Medicine Institute.
Where will the HEARTS™ screening take place?
The HEARTS™ screening, which will involve approximately 1500 sixth grade students from 5 schools in the Houston Independent School District, will be performed on site at these schools. After the screening, any child with abnormal or irregular tests will have further complementary testing at Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital.
When will the HEARTS™ screening start?
HEARTS™ medical team will visit the schools to perform the screening once per week between May and December 2009.
Based upon the study information collected, the HEARTS™ team will further improve the screening process if required, and then expand this program to screen all sixth grade school children in the greater Houston area (HEARTS™ over Houston). The HEARTS™ team will then develop a state-wide program to provide heart screenings for children throughout Texas (HEARTS™ over Texas)
Will it cost me anything?
The screenings, medical services, and therapy required will be provided at no charge by HEARTS™.