The Anthony Bates Foundation held a heart screening event at Kansas State University on Sept. 11, providing exams for close to 300 college athletes, student athletes from area high schools, and other community members.
The event at the K-State Alumni Center is one of dozens organized by the Anthony Bates Foundation, which has a goal of screening 1,000,000 youth in the next four years. The foundation honors the memory of Anthony Bates, a Kansas State football player who died from undiagnosed hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) in 2000 when he was 20.
Erin Hensley, Cardiac Science AED Area Manager, assisted at the event and spoke to the group.
“Each year, 369,000 people in the United States die due to sudden cardiac arrest (SCA),” she said. “And one athlete dies every three days from cardiovascular disorders.”
The low-cost screenings offered by the foundation for those ages 10 and above are designed to find hidden cardiac defects that standard physicals don’t check for. If the screening catches any cardiac abnormalities, the person is referred to a cardiologist for follow-up.
Sharon Bates, Anthony Bates’ mother and head of the foundation, is also a co-founder of Parent Heart Watch. That organization provides information on heart health, including stories about children, many with undiagnosed heart issues, who died of SCA.
Anthony, a football player who appeared to be in perfect health, suffered SCA while driving home from a workout at the university. Only after his death did the family learn that he had HCM.
Hensley talked about the importance of making sure that everyone knows how to respond if they witness someone collapse from SCA. It’s critical to call 911 immediately, start cardiopulmonary resuscitation, and use an AED. To use the AED, you have to know where to find it.
The KSU Collegian reported the school’s football coach Bill Snyder has made automated external defibrillators (AED) available in the football complex. Trainers carry AED units to practices, and other defibrillators are available in locations throughout campus.
“Don’t be afraid to grab an AED and shock someone when they have a cardiac arrest,” Hensley said. “The machine knows not to shock someone unless the victim needs it. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.”
Cardiac Science AED Specialist Erin Hensley demonstrates using a Powerheart G5 AED.