Heart Screen Event to Target Potentially Fatal Condition in Young Athletes

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Tri-Cities doctor partners with Pasco High School to offer heart screening for student athletes. The goal is to prevent sudden cardiac death.

Dr. Daniel Niendorff, owner of ActionEcho, and Tim Nickolaus, PA-C, are hosting a Tri-City wide hypertrophic cardiomyopathy screening day at Pasco High School, 1108 North 10th Ave in Pasco, on Wednesday, August 10, 2011 from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. This event is a joint effort between Dr. Niendorff, Nickolaus, Pasco High School and local volunteers. The goal is to provide early detection of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), an inherited condition which causes the heart muscle to grow without any apparent reason. Sudden death can occur.

HCM is usually detected through echocardiography. With early detection it can be treated in order to limit greater medical problems. Young athletes from 14-20 years of age can receive a FREE cardiac screening at this event. Parental consent is required for athletes under 18 years of age and forms are available at http://www.HCMcheck.org.

Community heart screens are nothing new for Dr. Niendorff. In 2008, he provided assistance at a clinic in the Seattle area and later that year hosted one in the Tri-Cities. As a result, hundreds of student athletes were evaluated. “The tragedy of HCM is that it strikes suddenly, unexpectedly and it causes death in young people with so much life ahead of them, says Niendorff. The prevention of just one death is worth all the effort.”

HCM has the potential to impact athletes regardless of skill level, age and gender because of its genetically-based roots. Even students in peak physical condition can become affected. According to the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation, three high school athletes across the country died in March 2011 after collapsing suddenly on the floor. To reduce these types of tragedies Dr. Niendorff and Nickolaus are using their resources, expertise, and staff along with volunteers on screening day. Nickolaus feels humbled by the chance to teach others about HCM.

“This event provides an excellent opportunity for student athletes from around the Tri-Cities area to learn more about this condition and receive a heart screening to prevent cases of sudden cardiac death,” states Nickolaus.

The screening will be held at Pasco High School under the guidance and support of Athletic Director, Le Burns. “The service that is being provided to the area athletes is phenomenal, states Burns. Any pre-screening to rule out potential life threatening risks affords athletes and their families additional piece of mind. The saddest day in the athletic world is one where a life is lost, when if diagnosed prior, could have been avoided.”

Additional information and parental consent forms for the screening can be found on http://www.HCMcheck.org. Students will sign-up and register at the door on event day.

For any other questions, please call (509) 946-7540.


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Joe Angelo
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