Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital
New Brunswick • Somerset

Cardiac Screening Held for High School Athletes

July 13, 2012
As part of its ongoing efforts to help prevent sudden cardiac death, Somerset Medical Center conducted a free cardiac screening of 140 high school athletes. The medical center previously launched a clinical research study where 250 Central Jersey students were screened. 

“We wanted to expand our efforts to reach students from throughout Central New Jersey,” said Steven Georgeson, MD, cardiologist and study coordinator, said. “We screened athletes engaged in all sports from schools throughout Somerset, Hunterdon and Middlesex counties.” 

The screenings looked for major abnormalities known to cause sudden cardiac death, which affects an average of 1 in 100,000 student athletes nationwide each year. Somerset Medical Center cardiologists, nurses and technicians conducted the evaluation, which included a cardiovascular history and physical exam; blood pressure screening; body metrics; an electrocardiogram; and an echocardiogram, if necessary. Results were given to each student and the student’s personal physician. 

"Our goal at Somerset Medical Center is to serve our community and our hope is that by offering free cardiac athletic evaluations as part of this study we will help reduce the incidence of sudden cardiac death among student athletes," added Mark Lebenthal, MD, cardiologist and study coordinator. "This study also gave us the opportunity to increase community awareness of the risk of sudden cardiac death in athletes.”

Given the large turnout and demonstrated interest in the screening, the medical center plans to offer another cardiac screening for high school athletes, in the fall. 

Somerset Medical Center’s cardiology services include emergency and elective coronary angioplasty services and a full range of diagnostic services, including pediatric diagnostic services, cardiac catheterizations, EKGs, cardiac holter monitoring, stress tests, cardiac ultrasound testing, transesophageal echocardiogram and tilt table testing. In addition, the medical center offers monitored cardiac rehabilitation to help patients who have recently suffered a heart attack or who are recovering from an angioplasty, cardiac valve or bypass surgeries or heart transplant.