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North Side High School Student Athletes Receive Free EKG Screenings

JACKSON, Tenn. - Friends of Heart and Who We Play For, non-profit organizations prioritizing students’ heart health, held free EKG screenings for the first time in west Tennessee at North Side High school.

“A local student named Chase Gardner, a baseball player from USJ, had to be shocked with an AED after going into cardiac arrest to the baseball clinic, and it’s because he had one of these conditions that an EKG should have detected, but he had not had one, they’re not part of state mandated physicals or well child visits.”

After a local student suffered cardiac arrest, Friends of Heart executive director Caitlin Clark wants to help prevent that from happening again.

She reports cardiac arrest is the number one killer of student athletes.

With these EKG screenings, nurses use electrodes to check the student’s heart rhythms, pediatric cardiologists examine the results, and if an issue is detected, the student will then receive further treatment.

“We just want to be proactive because of what we’ve seen that has happened in many students across the nation that are affected by cardiac illnesses that they don’t even know because they’re hidden. And it’s not normal to do an EKG on a child, so we’re just taking that initiative to be proactive.”

Coordinative school health director Annette Wilson has been working hard for the past five years to bring the EKG screenings to students.

She reports the school system is working to bring these screenings to every Jackson-Madison County school, for every student.

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