News | August 04, 2010

Physicians Use ECGs to Find High School Students With Cardiac Risks

August 4, 2010 — When Beaumont Hospital physicians recently held a heart screening for high school students, they found some surprising results. Of the 402 students screened, 34 students were advised to continue with sports and follow-up with their personal physicians and an additional five students were instructed to stop exercise until fully evaluated.

“We believe ECG together with a patient history, physical exam and quick-look echo for select students is a preferred strategy for screening athletes for underlying heart disease,” said David Haines, M.D, corporate chairman, cardiovascular medicine, at Michigan-based Beaumont Hospitals. “We started the Healthy Heart Check student screening program in May 2007. Since then, we’ve screened over 4,700 students at free community-based screenings. We believe the program has helped save young lives by identifying students at risk for cardiac arrest.”

Reinforcing GE Healthcare’s healthymagination strategy, the MAC 800 resting electrocardiogram (ECG) is a lightweight portable ECG device that has made it easier for Beaumont to perform student screenings at schools and other community locations. The MAC 800 combines the keypad of a phone with a full-size color display and the proven GE Marquette 12SL ECG diagnostic software to help clinicians provide greater access to healthcare in regions across the world.

Beaumont recently purchased 20 of the portable ECG devices for its student screening program with a donation from the Fraternal Order of Eagles.

Data published from an Italian study in 2006 demonstrated an 89 percent reduction in sudden cardiac death where routine ECG-based heart screenings has been mandatory since 1982 (Journal of the American Medical Association, 2006). In addition, a recent study from Stanford University School of Medicine analyzed routine ECG testing of young American athletes and found that it is reasonable and cost effective to implement these programs (Annuals of Internal Medicine, 2010). Participation requirements for these younger athletes are typically limited to physicals and medical history.

GE Healthcare’s MAC 800 has the full size features of a 65-pound ECG device engineered down to less than seven pounds, battery included. The unit’s integrated carrying handle enables clinicians to carry it like a briefcase, expanding access to care, regardless of patient location. Its lithium ion battery keeps it running for roughly two hours of continuous operation or up to 250 standard patient reports, and a quick, four-hour recharge helps reduce downtime.

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