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Yale offers free medical screening for local student-athletes

Yale EKG WEB.jpg
Liz Saunders, lead athletic trainer at Yale University, with student-athletes on the field. Yale is offering free medical screening to student-athletes in the community.

The Yale School of Medicine is inviting local student-athletes to register for a free medical screening in August – the registration deadline is July 22.

The screenings are for student athletes 13 to 19 years old in New Haven, West Haven and Hamden. Yale will provide general medicine, orthopedic, neurologic and cardiac screenings, including EKGs, at no cost.

“When I did this at the University of California, San Francisco, we picked up several high school athletes that had Wolff-Parkinson-White,” a type of abnormal heartbeat, said Dr Christina Allen, Yale’s division chief of sports medicine. “[The screening] picked it up on the EKG – they had it at the time of their exam, which is a little bit [of] luck – and then they had further evaluation and underwent a procedure to prevent this from happening again. Those were absolute saves that really did prevent sudden cardiac death.”

Allen said EKGs can detect other cardiac conditions, such as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, that pose a potential threat to young athletes. Although it’s not a requirement for student-athletes in Connecticut, Yale requires incoming freshman athletes to have an EKG, along with a clinical exam.

Now the medical school is extending the screening to surrounding communities.

“We want to connect with our local community and make sure that these student-athletes, regardless of socioeconomics, are able to get comprehensive medical clearance before they hit the field,” said Liz Saunders, the lead athletic trainer at Yale University.

Student-athletes can register here for the screenings by July 22. The screenings will be conducted on Aug. 6 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at One Long Wharf Drive, New Haven.

Sujata Srinivasan is a Senior Producer for 'Where We Live,' the flagship news-based, call-in talk show from Connecticut Public Radio, featuring deep dives at the intersection of data-driven narrative and investigative long-form journalism. She's also an editor for the Connecticut Public newsroom.