ActionEcho Hosting Local Heart Screening Clinic Aimed at Reducing Sudden Death in Young Athletes

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ActionEcho will be hosting its first Tri-City area hypertrophic cardiomyopathy screening clinic at Kamiakin High School on Wednesday, September 3, 2008 from 8:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m. The clinic is FREE to any athlete age 14 - 20. Donations will be accepted and used towards the purchase of an automated external defibrillator (AED) for use at a local area high school.

ActionEcho, a locally owned mobile echocardiography service, will be hosting its first Tri-City area hypertrophic cardiomyopathy screening clinic, Know Your Heart, at Kamiakin High School, 600 N. Arthur in Kennewick, on September 3, 2008 from 8:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m. This event is a collaborative event between ActionEcho and the Make the DASH Count Foundation with support from the Anthony Bates Foundation and Kamiakin High School.

The goal is to facilitate the early detection of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) an inherited condition which can cause sudden death in young athletes. HCM is readily detectable through echocardiography. If detected early it can be managed to reduce the risk of serious consequences. Young athletes from 14 - 20 years of age can receive a cardiac screening free of charge at the event. Donations will be accepted and used towards the purchase of an automated external defibrillator (AED) for use at an area high school. Parental consent is required and forms can be found on the ActionEcho website. Sign up is at the door.

ActionEcho owner Dr. Daniel F. Niendorff is intent on reducing deaths related to HCM. "I have wanted to bring a free screening clinic to Tri-City athletes for the past few years. Earlier this spring I had the opportunity to participate in a clinic in the Seattle area and since then I have worked to get one pulled together for our community", states Niendorff. To that end he has committed both time and resources to help young athletes by hosting this event. "HCM kills silently, which is so tragic. Young athletes in their prime should not have to face this type of risk when a simple screening can give them the information they need to manage their health."

HCM can affect athletes of all skill levels, ages and genders because it is a genetically based condition. In 1990 college basketball star Hank Gathers died tragically of HCM during an NCAA playoff game. Anthony Bates, a 20 year old Division I football player for Kansas State University, also died suddenly of undetected HCM. To reduce these types of tragic deaths Dr. Niendorff plans to use his equipment, expertise, and staff along with local volunteers to provide the free screening.

The clinic will be held at Kamiakin High School where Niendorff has received the whole hearted support of Athletic Director, Don Schumacher. "I appreciate the opportunity for our kids, as well as others from around the area, to get screened. Sports physicals are great but this goes beyond and gives both the kids and parents more knowledge about a condition that can be so serious."

To assist with promoting awareness of the event and secure additional volunteers Niendorff has partnered with the Make the DASH Count Foundation. Additionally the foundation will be accepting donations for use towards the purchase of an automated external defibrillator (AED) for use at one of the area high schools. In addition the nationally based Anthony Bates Foundation is in full support of the event. Formed in 2002 after the tragic death of Anthony the Foundation is dedicated to saving young lives through early detection of HCM.

Additional information as well as forms necessary for the screening can be obtained from the ActionEcho website at http://www.actionecho.com. Sign ups will be accepted at the door on the day of the event. Please note that parental consent is required if the athlete is not over 18 years of age. For additional event information please call 946-7540.

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Stephanie Williams

Stephanie Williams
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