LAKE BLUFF – The Max Schewitz Foundation recently concluded its Screens for Teens program for the 2015 school year. The school-wide EKG screening program has now provided over 56,000 EKGs to area students and given 1,000 students limited echocardiograms since starting the Foundation after Max’s sudden death in 2005. The Foundation has found more than 1,300 students who required further medical evaluation.
“It’s amazing to see how far the Foundation has come in 10 years,” said Mary Beth Schewitz, executive director of The Max Schewitz Foundation. “We have grown so much, but there are still many communities that we have not reached. The number and seriousness of heart conditions uncovered by our screening validates the need for our work.”
While the Foundation does not follow the students after referral, parents often contact the nonprofit to share outcomes and from them we can report:
• Two had open-heart surgery to correct defects often found on autopsy
• Several have confirmed cases of HCM, the condition that claims most athlete’s lives
• 1 in 1,000 or about 50 have WPW—a potentially life-threatening condition detected by EKG which can be cured with an outpatient procedure.
• Dozens have Long QT, another potentially life-threatening condition that can vary in intensity and treatment.
Screens for Teens, the Foundation’s school-wide EKG screening program is administered by trained parent volunteers and the EKGs are interpreted by cardiologist Eli Lavie, MD, Medical Director of the Max Schewitz Foundation.
The Foundation is working with local schools now to schedule screenings. For a complete listing of upcoming events and testing dates, visit: http://heartsmartekg.org/.
Submitted by the Max Schewitz Foundation
Based in Lake Bluff, The Max Schewitz Foundation’s dual missions reflect Max’s life and death. His parents and family friends started the Foundation in 2005 after 20-year-old Max died suddenly from a cardiac arrhythmia. The Foundation works to prevent sudden cardiac death (SCD) in young people and to promote conservation of fragile reptile species and their ecosystems. To date, over the Foundation has provided 56,000 EKGs to high school & college students. 1,000 students also received limited echocardiograms from the Foundation. 1,300 students had abnormal results that required further medical evaluation. To learn more, call Mary Beth Schewitz at (847) 234-2206 or follow us on Twitter and Facebook.