BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. — Starting this weekend, Brevard Public Schools has partnered up with Who We Play For to provide low-cost ECG screenings for student athletes in a push for safety.
- Brevard Public Schools to provide low-cost ECG screenings
- School officials want to encourage safety among student athletes
- Initiative in partnership with 'Who We Play For'
Starting this summer, all student athletes from grades 7-12 planning on playing fall sports are required to have an ECG consent form or opt-out form filled out in order to play sports this upcoming school year.
Brevard County Public Schools has approximately 12,000 student athletes. But according to the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation, about 6,000 to 8,000 young people die each year from sudden cardiac arrest.
Chase Cromartie, 12, has big dreams of becoming a professional football player and knows health is an important factor, especially what's undetectable during the annual physicals.
He trains almost every day for hours and wants to make sure he's healthy, especially after learning about people who were student athletes that didn't know they had a heart condition until they collapsed.
“It will be safer, I know someone who a couple of years ago played football. He had a heart decease and he couldn't play anymore, but he didn’t have to die,” Chase said.
His father Bill says the most recent wakeup call was in April when a Viera High School student collapsed during a run one afternoon — he suffered from a sudden cardiac arrest.
Bill said he supports ECG Screenings and that he likes that schools are pushing towards athlete safety, something he didn't have while growing up playing football.
An ECG gathers information from 12 different areas of the heart, is quick, and pain-free.
“It’s 20 dollars. so it's affordable … we can make sure there are no heart problems or underlying conditions that are not showing up,” Bill said.
For students who cannot afford it, Who We Play For will cover the fees.
Both Bill and Chase understand that some parents and students might be hesitant to get screened for fear of an “at-risk” result, but they want people to think about the bigger picture. Even though the student can't play sports, at least they're alive.
BPS signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Who We Play For. The agreement started on April 24, 2019 and expires on April 23, 2024, but it be renewed for successive terms.
ECG Heart Screenings will be offered at the following locations on the dates and times listed: