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Posted April 16, 2010
Free Heart Screening Program Helps Tampa Bay Teen

Local Tampa mother Lee Moore thanked members of the Cardiac Arrhythmia Syndromes (CAS) Foundation and their SafeBeat initiative for offering free heart screenings to local high schools. Her 15-year old son, who is a member of a local high school basketball and track team, was found to have a heart condition known as Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome (WPW).

"Thanks to the SafeBeat initiative's free heart screening program, we were able to identify his heart condition that would have otherwise gone undetected," said Lee Moore, mother of the student athlete. "As a parent, this is a tremendous relief to have this life saving information now, in order to learn more about treatment, rather than when it's too late to do anything. I encourage all parents to sign up their high school child today - the cost is free, and it may just save your child's life," Moore emphasized.

"WPW is a potentially life threatening arrhythmia that can be detected through EKG screening," said Dr. Gul Dadlani, medical director of pediatric cardiology at All Children's Hospital. "I hope that more students will take advantage of this free voluntary program that is offered by the SafeBeat initiative and hopefully prevent other cases of sudden cardiac death in the Tampa Bay community."

The student's EKG was taken during a recent heart screening and in less than 24 hours from the initial abnormal EKG reading, the student and his mother were meeting with Dr. Gul Dadlani for further tests and consultation. The student's WPW will continue to be monitored; however, it does not preclude him from playing sports at this time.

"This is exactly the goal of the CAS Foundation," said its founder Jayne Vining. "Knowledge and awareness is the key to prevention and I again applaud our partners and sponsors for taking this bold step in leading the charge here in Florida," said Vining, whose son Marc was lost due to a cardiac abnormality and started the CAS Foundation in his memory.

The CAS Foundation encourages parents or guardians of high school students to go to SafeBeat.org to register their child to get tested. The CAS Foundation, through the SafeBeat initiative, will be screening students at all Hillsborough County high schools the remainder of the 2009-2010 school year and the 2010-2011 / 2011-2012 years as well.

Screenings are offered by SafeBeat and its sponsors. They are not a Hillsborough County School Board program or activity. Participation is voluntary. No school board employee will take part in the screenings, nor will any school board employee review or have access to them.

About The SafeBeat Initiative

The CAS Foundation, through the SafeBeat initiative, offers free, voluntary opt-in heart screening programs initially to seven Tampa Bay area high schools. SafeBeat is an awareness campaign to provide heart screenings to all Hillsborough County high school students during the remaining 2009-2010 school year and the upcoming 2010-2011 and 2011-2012 school year. There is no charge to the student, parent, or school district for the screening. SafeBeat was unveiled at a March 22, 2010 press conference with former NFL Coach Tony Dungy.

The SafeBeat initiative has partnered with All Children's Specialty Physicians and is working with Hillsborough County Public Schools on this effort. These screenings are offered by SafeBeat and its sponsors. They are not a Hillsborough County School Board program or activity. No school board employee will take part in the screenings, nor will any school board employee review or have access to them.

Each year, more than 7,000 children and adolescents in the United States die from Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA). Four out of five victims of SCA appeared healthy and had no symptoms prior to death. Without symptoms, an electrocardiogram-based heart screening is the best way to detect the potential life-threatening condition.