Free heart screenings for students Saturday in Nashville - WSMV Channel 4

Free heart screenings for students Saturday in Nashville

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

As student-athletes step up their workouts with the warmer weather, doctors have a warning. They want to make sure your son or daughter doesn't have an underlying heart issue that could pose a life-threatening problem.

Sudden cardiac arrest is the leading cause of death for student-athletes and happens when the heart stops beating unexpectedly.

The only way to prevent sudden cardiac arrest is to get tested and keep an eye out for warning signs, such as fainting or chest pain during exercise, unexplained shortness of breath, rapid heart rate and extreme dizziness or fatigue.

But doctors say the problem is you may not see the warning signs until it's too late. That's why these screenings are about making sure it's safe for your child to participate in sports.

"With the typical health screening, we'd see a medical history and physical, which are really good. But with this, we add an EKG, which helps them detect abnormalities," said Vanderbilt University Medical Center Dr. Alex Diamond.

There is a free screening available Saturday, April 5, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Vanderbilt Recreation & Wellness Center, located at 2700 Children's Way in Nashville.

Students ages 10-19 can participate.

For more information and to sign up, visit: http://www.simonsfund.org/get-screened/register.

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