On November 2nd, the Saving Hearts Foundation hosted a free heart screening at Valencia High School to help people stay healthier in the community. The Saving Hearts Foundation is a national non-profit foundation started by three UCLA undergraduates. Their goal is to prevent sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) by providing free heart screenings for young athletes, to make sure they’re not at risk for heart problems. They also help provide automated external defibrillators (a portable device that diagnoses fatal cardiac arrhythmias, also known as AEDs) in schools that cannot afford them, as well as teach the youth how to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and use an AED. The Saving Hearts Foundation provides these screenings at local high schools, which have helped reduce the rate of SCA in youth and increase the number of bystanders who performed CPR or defibrillation by AED for someone in need.
Students from Valencia High School’s Medical Science Academy, MSA, were able to keep things organized, learn about patient care, anatomy, teamwork, and the medical field, while assisting volunteers who were performing electrocardiograms (a test that checks for heart disease signs, also known as EKGs) on students and athletes. One student stated, “It was very interesting to witness heart screenings in person for the very first time.” In all, 220 people showed up to be screened, and three examinations ended up requiring a follow up. Many volunteers and physicians were able to assist. Most MSA students plan on entering the medical field in the future, and this experience taught them many new things about the body’s health.
The heart screening has benefited many and continues to make steps toward a healthier community. Another MSA student explained, “MSA focuses a lot on self-improvement and community service. I think this [event] helped the community because it prepared our students for the future and it trained them to learn how to deal with real life situations that could potentially help someone in need and propel them further in their chances of succeeding in their education.” Her statement speaks truth because there have been incidents where school students have stepped in to save others. A few years ago, MSA students applied their knowledge on medical procedures, such as CPR, to help a student athlete at a sports game. The girl was saved, thanks to the MSA students. Now, Valencia Hight Schools MSA continues to educate their students and teams with the Saving Hearts Foundation to prevent unfortunate situations and help others.
Jasmine Jhun, Grade 9