MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Student athletes push their bodies to the limits in the pursuit of their sports.

In an effort to reduce risk of sudden cardiac problems, and possibly prevent a student’s death, Miami Children’s Hospital (MCH) is (MCH )is offering free electrocardiograms (ECGs or EKGs) to middle and high school athletes.

“Every three days, sudden cardiac death takes the life of a young U.S. athlete, such as a girl playing soccer, a boy at basketball practice or a high school football player,” said Dr. Anthony Rossi, director of the Pediatric Cardiac Intensive Care Unit at MCH.

Rossi said a typical school or sports physical exam won’t detect a potentially dangerous heart problem.

“Often these young people die without exhibiting advance signs of a heart problem,” said Rossi. “An ECG can help identify children with heart anomalies so that they can receive the treatment they need for a long and healthy life.”

The screenings are available by appointment at five MCH locations, as well as at MCH outpatient centers in Doral, Palmetto Bay, West Kendall and Weston.

Anyone wishing to schedule an ECG for their child can do so by calling (786) 624-3292.


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