By Michaela Gibson Morris/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – Students in sixth grade and up can check up on their health Saturday.
The Weston Reed Foundation will offer free physicals – including an EKG – from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the Link Centre reception hall in Tupelo.
The noninvasive EKG, which measures the heart’s electrical signals, can indicate if the heart isn’t functioning properly, said Bev Crossen, a member of the foundation board.
Limited echocardiograms, which use ultrasound to look at the heart’s structure, will be available Saturday for those identified as needing additional evaluation.
Because of space limitations at the Link Centre, the foundation will not offer CPR classes on Saturday, but they will continue to be offered through the year, Crossen said.
Parents or legal guardians must be present to sign permission forms for the physicals. Saturday’s screenings are open to any teen and young adult who would like to participate, but the screenings may be particularly helpful to athletes.
An EKG exam isn’t required for participation in sports in Mississippi, but Dr. Karl Crossen, a Tupelo electrophysiologist, strongly encourages parents to seek this test for their young athletes.
“The majority of the things that create risk on the athletic field are cardiac,” said Crossen, who is a cardiologist who specializes in the heart’s electrical system. “Some of the things we are able to detect affect performance as well as life.”
The foundation was created in memory of 11-year-old Weston Reed who died from sudden cardiac arrest on Aug. 16, 2007, while practicing soccer. In addition to providing the screenings and CPR training, the foundation is dedicated to making automated defibrillators widely available in the community.
For more information, contact Weston Reed Foundation at (662) 372-2208.