April 22, 2010

SCH Providing Local Students Free Cardiac Ultrasound at Paws & Claws

Scotland County Hospital will be conducting free sports physicals for students going into grades 7th – 12th at Scotland County Schools during the Paws & Claws Sports Physicals event on May 5th. Scotland County Hospital has been conducting these free sports physicals for students in Scotland County for the past 15 years. Physicians, nurses and a variety of other health professionals and volunteers from the hospital conduct the physical exams at the school in Memphis and collaborate with the local health department, coaches and school nurse.

As an addition to the free physical examination this year, John Hammock, MD, who is the cardiologist from Blessing Physician Services, and provides a weekly cardiology clinic and non-invasive diagnostic service at Memphis Medical Services, will be conducting & interpreting a cardiac ultrasound on each student, age 13 – 18 with signed consent, who participates in the Paws & Claws event. The cardiac ultrasound will look for two rare diseases – Marfan Syndrome and Hypertrophic Obstructive Cardiomyopathy, which are particularly important to detect early in young athletes.

According to officials at the Missouri State High School Activities Association (MSHSAA), the Sports Medicine Advisory Committee of MSHSAA is not aware of any other hospital, in the state of Missouri, that is conducting this type of cardiology screening on Missouri high school athletes and students.

Scotland County Hospital, CEO, Marcia Dial said, “This is our commitment to these schools, students and parents to show them our dedication to their health and their future as these kids stay healthy and safe and succeed in extra-curricular activities at school.”

Prior to the Paws & Claws event, a medical history is completed by the parent or guardian along with a signed release for their child to have all of the free examinations. The physical exam includes; height, weight, blood pressure, pulse, and vision. The physicians & providers examine the Neck, Chest, Cardiovascular, Abdomen, Genitourinary, Skin, and Musculoskeletal systems. Stations are set up for each modality and at the end each student has had a comprehensive health screening, a free T-shirt and a healthy snack. This examination is used to evaluate student’s abilities to participate in school sports and activities. If potential problems are noted, the student is advised to follow up with their primary care physician. Barbie Courtright, RN, from Scotland County Hospital and coordinator of the sports physical events in both Schuyler County and Scotland County Schools says, “This program is very important, since this may be the only physical examination a student will receive in a year’s time. Keeping these students healthy and detecting any problems early, is really the reason the hospital puts so many resources into this project.”

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