The Max Schewitz Foundation kicks off its sixth year of Screens for Teens, an EKG-based cardiac screening program on Sept. 11 at College of Lake County.
Students receive a free EKG and some also receive a free echocardiogram. The foundation will offer heart checks to students at seven high schools and CLC this fall, with the potential of reaching more than 14,000 students before Thanksgiving.
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The program's mission is to identify students who are at risk of sudden cardiac death before they are stricken so they can obtain treatment.
"At each school, we find at least one student that needs further testing," said Mary Beth Schewitz, executive director of The Max Schewitz Foundation.
"Online registration is now open for our fall test schools. We urge parents to visit www.ekgyourteen.org to register their children for this painless, quick, and non-invasive test. Last year alone, two young adults had open-heart surgery to correct defects often found on autopsy. Thanks to Screens for Teens, their defect was detected before it was too late."
In 2005, Max died suddenly and unexpectedly at age 20 from an undiagnosed cardiac condition. Like so many others victims of SCD, Max had no previous medical conditions or warning signs. If he had been diagnosed, life-saving treatments could have been implemented.
Screens for Teens EKGs and echocardiograms are interpreted on-site by a team of cardiologists under the direction of Dr. Eli Lavie, medical director of the Max Schewitz Foundation. The foundation's hope is EKG tests will become a part of students' routine physical exams.
More than 35,000 high school students have received free EKG testing and 307 echocardiograms from the foundation, and 643 students had an abnormality that required further evaluation.
To learn more, call Mary Beth Schewitz at (847) 234-2206 or follow the foundation on Twitter and Facebook.
2013-14 Screens for Teens testing dates:
• College of Lake County: Sept. 11;
• St. Viator High School: Sept. 18;
• Vernon Hills High School: Sept. 25;
• Stevenson High School: Oct. 8-10;
• Antioch High School: Oct. 16;
• Glenbrook South High School: Oct. 23;
• Highland Park High School: Oct. 29;
• Lake Zurich High School: Nov. 6.