Wednesday, April 23, 2014

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Doctors offer athletes free heart screenings

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TWC News: Doctors offer athletes free heart screenings
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This year's football season is about to kick off for local schools, but first, doctors want to make sure students don't hit the field with dangerous heart conditions.

The Heart Hospital of Austin gave free screenings to 14 to 18-year-old athletes Saturday.

Doctors were looking for cases of Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM). It's a condition which causes the heart to thicken and has been known to cause sudden cardiac arrests. Officials say it affects one in 500 young athletes every year.

Doctor Stanley Wang says those who have the disorder typically don't have any warning.

"HCM is really dangerous because there are no symptoms with it until that first thing happens. And that first thing might be death," Dr. Wang said.

Doctor Wang says coaches, and especially parents of athletes, should make sure their kids get screened for any heart conditions.

The Heart Hospital says 200 Central Texan athletes took advantage of the free screening Saturday.

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