Lyons Township High School student heart screenings set for 2013
Volunteer Lori Mitchell of Western Springs attaches cords to electrodes on the wrist of freshman Lucas O'Bryan during a heart screening at Lyons Township High School in 2011. More tests will be done in 2013. | Ruthie Hauge~Sun-Times Media
Updated: January 28, 2013 6:14AM
LA GRANGE — Lyons Township High School students will have the chance for a free heart screening test in the fall.
Of 1,600 students who received an electrocardiogram in November 2011, a further medical follow-up was warranted for 14 students, said Kevin Brown, associate principal of the north campus in La Grange.
The confidential, voluntary test again will be arranged through the Midwest Heart Foundation’s Young Hearts for Life program, Brown told School Board members on Monday.
The school acts as an intermediary and isn’t informed of any test results, which are later passed along to parents, Brown said.
The foundation’s push to offer free electrocardiograms is an effort to combat sudden cardiac deaths caused one-third of the time by undiagnosed hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, characterized by an abnormal thickening of the heart muscle.
Sudden cardiac deaths claim the lives of an estimated 30 young people each week, or about 2,000 per year.
“This can hit any kid, an athlete or not,” said Superintendent Tim Kilrea.
Two years ago, school and community groups raised $10,000 for the program, and LT contributed $7,500. Board members authorized an expenditure not to exceed $7,500 for the 2013 program.
About 100 Nazareth Academy student athletes from LaGrange Park also were tested at LT, and their school made a donation to the program, Brown said.
Brown said preparations will be made to accommodate more students for the screenings. About 40 percent of the student body participated in 2011, and 50 percent of more of the school’s 4,000 students could sign up, he said.
About 300 parents volunteered to help with the screenings in 2011. Jennifer Bialobok, community relations director, said parents later will be able to sign up for shifts through the district’s website, www.lths.net.