AUBURN, Mass. – An Auburn High School parent is encouraging students to sign up for free electrocardiogram heart screenings for up to 250 students at the high school on Saturday, Sept. 29.
“I know a lot of these kids, seeing them play sports their whole lives. I’d hate to see something tragic happen in this town, so I thought it’d be a good cause to do something like this,” said Auburn parent Donna Anderson, who is organizing the screening.
An EKG is a painless test that records the heart’s electrical activity. It shows how fast the heart is beating and whether the rhythm of the heartbeat is steady or irregular. Doctors use EKGs to detect and study many heart problems, such as heart attacks, arrhythmia and heart failure.
Anderson and Kristen Pappas, director of recreation and culture, along with Athletic Director William Garneau and the Auburn High School Booster Club, are organizing the screening for up to 250 high school students with help from medical and nonmedical volunteers.
“This is yet another event of which we should all take pride, as it is 100 percent for students and provided through the generosity of numerous committed Auburn citizens,” said Superintendent of Schools Maryellen Brunelle. “This is a tremendous event for our students that I hope many families will take advantage of.”
Anderson said there are numerous volunteers from the University of Massachusetts Medical School, the Auburn VNA Health Network, the Fire Department, Cardiac Science and “many others who are giving their time and equipment to make this a success.”
If there’s a concern with an EKG on Sept. 29, the student will be referred to his or her doctor for a follow-up.
The testing will use the same screening model as the Nick of Time Foundation in Seattle. Sue Apodaca, its operations director, and Darla Varrenti, director, are planning to attend the Auburn screening. In early April, they screened 486 students. To see an example of a screening in Seattle, watch the above video.
To register a student for an appointment, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Provide age of child, contact phone number and email in your request. If you do not have email, call 508-335-5040.
Anderson is also looking for additional volunteers for the screening. The event needs medical personnel and parent volunteers. If you are interested in volunteering, send an email to email@example.com.