The Max Schewitz Foundation is bringing Screens for Teens, a free cardiac screening program, to Lake Forest High School on Oct. 10. Parents interested in having their kids participate must register by Oct. 5 (visit www.ekgyourteen.org for the form).
The Screens For Teens mission is to identify students who are at risk of sudden cardiac death (SCD) before they are stricken. The Foundation will bring its cardiac testing to seven high schools and the College of Lake County during the 2012-2013 school year. Nearly 28,000 students have been given electrocardiograms (ECG or EKG) and hundreds have received a free limited echocardiogram through the Foundation.
Max Schewitz died suddenly and unexpectedly on Sept. 29, 2005, at age 20 from an undiagnosed cardiac condition. Like so many victims of SCD, Max had no previous medical conditions or warning signs. If he had been diagnosed, life-saving treatments could have been implemented. Soon after his death, his family & friends started the eponymous foundation to prevent other young adults from Max’s fate.
Students registered for testing will receive a free electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG) and some will also receive a free echocardiogram. Both tests are noninvasive, painless, and performed in private booths at school. The ECGs and echocardiograms are interpreted by a team of cardiologists led by Dr. Eli Lavie, Medical Director of the Max Schewitz Foundation. The Foundation’s goal is that ECG tests will become a part of students’ routine physical exams.
Mary Beth Schewitz, Max’s mom and executive director of the Foundation, shared the following story:
This summer, I received an email from the mother of one of our test students reporting that her daughter is recovering from open-heart surgery to correct a defect first detected on a Screens for Teens test. This student never experienced any symptoms and her condition is often first identified during an autopsy.
About the same time, I read a story about a young man who died on a college soccer field from a hidden cardiac cause. He attended one of our test schools but was never registered for testing. Two students without symptoms…two different outcomes. The majority of parents register their student at each test school, but sometimes parents don’t realize the deadline’s approach. Because of the disruption of the school year, we want to make sure parents of all LFHS students are aware of the screening which is just two weeks away.
LFHS parents or guardians who want their children to participate in Screens For Teens must register by Oct. 5—even if you previously registered online. Visit www.ekgyourteen.org to print a registration form. After filling it out, return it to the LFHS front office. (The Foundation’s closed its online registration due to numerous reports of user difficulties and they encourage everyone who may have registered online to also submit a paper form.)
For more information on Max and the Max Schewitz Foundation, please visit www.maxandthewildthings.com
From the Max Schewitz Foundation: