High school offered heart screening for young adults

In one way or another, statistics show everyone will be affected by cardiac arrest.

Bonney Lake’s Brian Grob gets his blood pressure checked by an East Pierce Fire volunteer on Friday.

In one way or another, statistics show everyone will be affected by cardiac arrest.

Sudden cardiac arrest happens without warning and unlike a heart attack, your heart stops beating altogether.  And the only way to save someone is with a shock from a defibrillator.

The range of those with the greatest risk of suffering from sudden cardiac arrests are 14 to 24 year olds.

On Friday, 300 young adults participated in a heart screening at Bonney Lake High School.

The screenings were brought to Bonney Lake with the help of Jane and Bill Mack because a close friend and Bonney Lake graduate Madison Murphy died in her sleep from sudden cardiac arrest.

The Macks contacted the Nick of Time Foundation to help them educate the community about this silent killer.

The Nick of Time Foundation was founded in 2008 by Nick Varrenti’s mom Darla and his aunt Sue Apodaca. Varrenti died in his sleep when he was 16 years old from sudden cardiac arrest.

The goals of the foundation is to create awareness, research strategies to prevent sudden cardiac arrest in young adults and increase the survival rate of victims, according to the foundation’s website.

The screening included a heart health survey asking about possible signs, symptoms and family history, blood pressure reading, a lesson on Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and using an automated external defibrillator (AED) along with a Electrocardiogram (EKG) followed with a one on one visit with a physician to go over results.

If the results showed more tests were needed, the physicians recommend they go see their doctor.

“We have never done a screening where we didn’t find someone who needed more testing,” Apodaca said.

The foundation has done screenings in seven states and in the past three years, Apodaca said, 10,500 young adults have been screened.

Once the screening is over, the foundation leaves the community with the knowledge to continue these screenings on their own.

Jane Mack said she was talking with people at the screening who are interested in continuing the program and making it a yearly thing.

“We are networking to continue a sustaining program,” Mack said.

Usually one screening is done a month and the next one is April 30 at Inglemoor High School in Kenmore.

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