Candy Ramirez brought her two children for a free heart screening at Miami Children’s Hospital. Both are student athletes.
“I think it’s very important for them to get checked out because we see so many things that happen to these children out there. They just collapse all of the sudden and you can never be too careful” said Ramirez. It happened this year to a Miramar High School football player who died suddenly during practice. Every three days in the U.S. a student athlete dies of Sudden Cardiac Death. Alex Ramirez, 14, said he worried it could happen to him “because it’s happening to a lot of kids out there so I thought I’d be one of them.” An electrocardiogram, known as an EKG, can detect heart rhythm abnormalities that cannot be detected through a routine physical exam. That’s why Miami Children’s is offering free EKGs to all student athletes. Heading the program is Dr. Anthony F. Rossi, medical director of the cardiac intensive care program. “Anytime we find an abnormal screening on our EKG screening we are going to follow up with that and make sure the child is absolutely safe to participate in sports or if he has some problem we will make sure he gets the appropriate treatment for it.” The free EKG screenings are available at the main hospital and at Miami Children’s four outpatient centers from South Miami Dade to Broward. There is also a mobile van that has been going to area schools. About 100 athletes have been screened so far and a problem was detected with one. The Ramirez children passed this important test. To schedule an EKG call 786- MCH-APPT (624-2778)