Cardiac Screening

Carmel is taking action for students to be aware with potential heart conditions

Eric Waldschmidt, Reporter

Tick… tick… tick…

“[Heart disease is] like a time bomb; it’s just waiting to go off,” athletic trainer

“I think everyone should do it…you have nothing to lose.” ”

— Dan Heinrichs

Dan Henrichs said.

On Wednesday, November 8, Carmel will be offering a cardiac screening for its students. In charge of the screening is physical education teacher Cathy Brennan. PE teacher Dan Henrichs is helping as well.

First, one must understand the dangers of heart disease.

“Every year we lose… a lot of kids to cardiac related deaths.” Brennan said. She finds it sad that many of these deaths could’ve been prevented if the children had undergone a screening such as the one Carmel will be offering. Brennan said that heart failure can be very sudden.

Oftentimes the symptoms of a “bad heart” can be hard to see with the naked eye. That’s why testing is so important. If doctors know the state of one’s heart, they can help prevent any future heart problems.

Although heart failure “is most common in athletes,” Brennan said that it can happen to anyone. Because athletes (especially basketball players) are involved in such constant, intense activity, their hearts can become kind of “overworked.” At this point, previously existing heart conditions become apparent if the player undergoes cardiac arrest or a heart attack.

“They’ll just be running down the court, and fall down,” Brennan said. “…but it can happen to [anyone],”

“Or just walking down the hallway…” Heinrichs said.

Brennan and Henrichs are no stranger to heart disease and cardiac problems. Many of Brennan’s family members had or have heart diseases. Even Brennan herself was hospitalized after a cardiac episode. Henrichs, on the other hand, tested athletes for heart diseases a few years ago.

Only one, minor, symptom was found in one of the athletes, but Henrichs said that that didn’t matter.

“If you test… 2,000 kids and only find one [symptom], it’s all worth it.”

In the end, Brennan and Henrichs just want to make sure kids are safe from sudden cardiac death. The testing is happening on November 8, 2017, and it costs only 15 dollars per student. Students need to have a parent or guardian’s permission, so they can register at

“I think everyone should do it.” said Henrichs, “you have nothing to lose.”