United States (US) experts checked the heart health of elite local athletes aged 15-19 at a very special clinic today (Saturday, 1 March 2014).
At the invitation of the Ministry of Sports, athletes who represent the Cayman Islands internationally in football, swimming, cricket, netball, basketball and athletics, or are eligible to do so, participated in the second annual Athletic Heart Clinic.
Acting Health Minister Hon. Alva Suckoo, JP and Chief Officer Mrs. Jennifer Ahearn, JP, attended the screening to underscore government's support for the programme. "Many of our athletes look to represent the Cayman Islands overseas and also seek athletic scholarships to study overseas. We have to do all we can to ensure they are safe. So it is well worth the effort even if we can save one young person."
As part of the event, which is co-sponsored by the Ministry and Cayman Heart Fund, a team from Saint Luke's Mid America Heart Institute located in Kansas City, Missouri, screened young people at the Heart Health Centre in West Shore Plaza, on West Bay Road.
To assess their risk for sudden cardiac arrest (SCA), a US board certified cardiologist conducted the evaluation that will include a comprehensive cardio-vascular history and physical examination, an electrocardiogram and a 2D echocardiogram. Staff of the Heart Health Centre provided additional support.
During the 2013 Athletic Heart Clinic doctors tested 63 young athletes and found six with abnormalities, of which two were potentially life threatening. Both young athletes underwent medical intervention at St Luke's, and have since resumed training and competing.
The annual Athletic Heart Clinic is part of the Cayman Islands' community's response to the death of young footballer Gerome Graham less than two years ago, from an undiagnosed heart enlargement.
For further information contact: Bina Mani