March 9, 2011

An ECG may save a life: Italy plans to mass screen teenagers

Sudden cardiac death kills 1000 youngsters every year in Italy.

Mandatory ECG screening for athletes is mandatory in Italy since 1982, but prevention strategies may go a step further. SIC (the Italian Cardiology Society) and Fondazione Italiana Cuore e Circolazione - Onlus are promoting a fundraising campaign - with Francesco Totti - AS Roma football player - as a testimonial (video on fb), in order to promote an ECG screening program.

The program will consist in:

1. - Screening in high schools for 16 - 19 year old teenagers, consisting in: history taking, physical exam (auscultation and pressure measurement included), 12 lead ECG.

2. - 2nd level exams in a Cardiology Unit for youngsters identified at risk.

3. - Genetic tests if an hereditary condition is suspected. 

4. - BLS training in schools.

Please share your thoughts.