Matt Nipper joined Columbian.com readers Friday Feb. 24 to discuss heart healthy questions and screening teen athletes for heart conditions. The one-hour long chat covered all of the details to the Young Champions Clinic and how they have teamed up with the Quinn Driscoll Foundation to help save lives by receiving a heart screening by the PeaceHealth Hearth & Vascular Center Cardiology.
Log on next Friday when Brighton West will join us in a live chat! West is a local Portland filmmaker and director of Vancouvria. Haven’t seen Vancouvria?! Here is a link of the show http://www.youtube.com/brightonwest. Join us Mar. 2 as we discuss what is in store for the future of Vancouvria, and get the opportunity to ask questions to West himself!
Matt Nipper live chat transcript, Friday Feb. 24, 2012:
Setareh Alizadeh: In honor of heart health month, I would like to welcome everyone to today’s live chat! Matt Nipper, an exercise physiologist at PeaceHealth Heart & Vascular Center Cardiology will be joining us shortly to discuss heart healthy choices and options. Hurry and be the first to get in your comments and questions. We will start at 12:00 p.m.
Setareh Alizadeh: Hello everyone , 5 minutes remaining! keep sending in comments and questions
Setareh Alizadeh: Hey Matt, if you are signed on, you can send a message in the window
Matt Nipper, Ms, RCEP: Hello All!
Setareh Alizadeh: Thanks for joining us Matt! I will start off with a couple questions from the readers
Matt Nipper, Ms, RCEP: Ok
Comment From Kris Caldwell: Hi, I have a few questions. What is the “false positive” rate that PeaceHealth has experienced with these screenings?; if someone is determined to be at risk, but is uninsured and doesn’t have a primary care doc, what will they offer to this person to help them? Are the screenings offered just to athletes or to anyone within the age criteria (what is the age criteria? Thanks
Matt Nipper, Ms, RCEP: To answer the first question, our false positive rate is very low, <15% specifically because of the way in which we conduct our screenings with the History and physical, EKG and Echo simultaneously.
Matt Nipper, Ms, RCEP: We are able to rule out most false positive EKGs immediately with the echocardiogram.
Matt Nipper, Ms, RCEP: In reference to your question about and uninsured, at risk person we would work with that person on a case by case basis to be sure they receive the care they need.
Matt Nipper, Ms, RCEP: The age criteria is anyone between 12-18.
Comment From Kris Caldwell: Helpful answers. Answer to the uninsued question could be more explicit (i.e., what assistance, charity care, referral to specific nonprofit community provider, foundation grant etc. ... but I understand that need for to answer more in-brief in Web forum environment). Thanks again!
Setareh Alizadeh: Tell us a little more about the Young Champions Clinic tomorrow, what will they provide for teens in this age range
Matt Nipper, Ms, RCEP: The clinic tomorrow is in partnership with the Quinn Driscoll Foundation. www.quinndriscollfoundation.org
Matt Nipper, Ms, RCEP: We will be screening 320 teens from the local community. We are looking for the common causes of sudden cardiac death.
Matt Nipper, Ms, RCEP: The most common causes in order of prevalence are Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM), Prolonged QT syndrome, and other “electrical Instabilities”
Matt Nipper, Ms, RCEP: Each teen will be screened using a history and physical, and EKG-electrocardiogram and and echocardiogram. Can we show the picture of the echo please?
Comment From meglebirch: Is there something critical about that age range (12-18)? Should parents consider testing their children earlier if feasible?
Matt Nipper, Ms, RCEP: The age range of 12-18 is critical because in our development the heart is becoming an adult heart at that time. The body is changing and the anatomy is developing into the adult heart. The common cause typically aren’t noticeable before that age range.
Matt Nipper, Ms, RCEP: Certainly if the child is symptomatic, or a family history of SCA is present then earlier intervention and detection would be advised.
Setareh Alizadeh: Can you explain what is in the photo? and what machine was used to take it?
Matt Nipper, Ms, RCEP: the photo is a picture of teenage heart using and echocardiogram or ultrasound of the heart the same technology used by OB/GYN to look at the developing fetus
Matt Nipper, Ms, RCEP: what we look for is thickening of the muscles of the heart, the bright white areas as well as the valves between the different chambers that are noticeable. This image is basically your standard heart drawing turned upside down.
Setareh Alizadeh: If a defect is caught at a early age, what can be done to help? does it involve surgery?
Matt Nipper, Ms, RCEP: Intervention is a case by case basis. Sometimes it involves medications and modification of activity. Some cases may need an IntraCardiac Defibrillator (ICD) and there are some cases that involve other surgical interventions.
Setareh Alizadeh: I understand the clinic will be full tomorrow, can parents take their teens another time to get heart screenings?
Matt Nipper, Ms, RCEP: Kris, all of those are options. if you or someone else is in need my email is firstname.lastname@example.org, please feel free to contact me. There are also scholarships available for the screenings.
Matt Nipper, Ms, RCEP: Yes the clinic is full tomorrow. We perform Young Champions screenings during the week. The best way to sign up is to go to swheartcheck.org and sign up using the registration form. We will then contact you to schedule. Weekly appointments are $50 for the screening. We will also have another Young Champions screening event in August.
Comment From Lou Brancaccio: Of all of the “dangers” facing teenagers today how would you rate heart issues and if it’s not at the top of the list, what is?
Matt Nipper, Ms, RCEP: Heart issues are becoming increasingly prevelant as our understanding of them increases. We are seeing increase occurence of things like high blood pressure, obesity, high cholesterol and diabetes in teenagers.
Comment From meglebirch: Why is this screening not part of the normal athletic physical that kids get? I’m assuming it’s because we don’t yet know about the overall efficacy of it. Is that true?
Matt Nipper, Ms, RCEP: These health disparties should be considered by all parents and teens as they get older these health problems will continue to be a problem and they are costly in terms of quality of life and financial.
Comment From Sammie Alizadeh: How does one exactly know if they are at risk? are there certain symptoms that teens can look out for?
Comment From Jim Ferretti: CHD’s and Teen Heart Problems are a major problem in the U.S. and little attention is paid to them. No price is too high to save a child’s life.
Matt Nipper, Ms, RCEP: These screenings are very effective yet very expensive. We are able to provide these screenings because we have volunteer technicians, physicans and the equipment is donated.
Matt Nipper, Ms, RCEP: Sammie, symptoms to be aware of are chest pain, palpitations, abnormal shortness of breath with activity, lightheadedness, dizziness, or passing out with activity. Family history of SCA or a death from an unknown origin are risk factors. This includes primary family and secondary-cousins etc.
Matt Nipper, Ms, RCEP: Jim, Thanks for joining us today. These screening services are very important to us and the teens they protect.
Comment From Sammie Alizadeh: Thank you Matt
Comment From Robert ‘Farmer’ R Bryan: It appears the cardiac events occur during some form of exercise or situation when the HR is increased. Is there a direct relationship between these events and increased HR?
Setareh Alizadeh: HR= Heart Rate
Matt Nipper, Ms, RCEP: Robert, while these events happen with exercise it is not exercise or sport that causes these events. Our hearts are put under load with activity but the benefits of exercise and sport far outweigh these risks. Especially when we have abilities to detect the prevalent abnormalities and prevent these catastrophic events.
Comment From Kris Caldwell: Are the most common issues with kids heart’s due to genetic defects, or heart disease caused by lifestyle?
Comment From Robert ‘Farmer’ R Bryan: Thanks for your time Matt!
Matt Nipper, Ms, RCEP: Great question. Most are a genetic defect. However the other things we are finding are mostly lifestyle related problems such as high blood pressure, obesity, and elevated blood lipids/cholesterol
Matt Nipper, Ms, RCEP: We are honored and humbled by the efforts of Scott and Kelly Driscoll and other members of the Quinn Driscoll Foundation and the awareness, education and effort they put in to protect children. They have provided AEDs for use in several schools and they are working with more schools to provide AED coverage.
Comment From Jim Ferretti: Setareh, My 3 year old daughter lives with half of a heart. She was born with a condition where only the right side of her heart works. She has had two open heart surgeries and will have a 3rd next year. After that, only she and a higher power knows how long she will be with us. Research and awareness are key in helping those dealing with Congenital Heart Defects. More is always needed and I am happy to see you taking part in this discussion.
Setareh Alizadeh: I want to personally thank you Jim for joining us today, and sharing your story.
Matt Nipper, Ms, RCEP: I urge everyone to know CPR and how to use and AED as well as be aware of where they are in the facilities that you use
Matt Nipper, Ms, RCEP: Jim, Thank you for your dedication and awareness of congenital heart defects in the young and sharing your story.
Comment From Lou Brancaccio: If a child’s issue is genetic and it is corrected medically, is the risk higher then higher for the person’s children?
Matt Nipper, Ms, RCEP: Risk is always higher if there is a family history regardless of treatment. The DNA is coded.
Comment From Matt Gisby: Is there any childhood diseases that contribute to the risk?
Matt Nipper, Ms, RCEP: Rheumatic fever (RF) was a contributing factor for valvular disease however the prevalence of RF is low these days.
Matt Nipper, Ms, RCEP: Can we post the last poll question please?
Setareh Alizadeh : Would you have your child screened even if your physician didn’t support it?
Matt Nipper, Ms, RCEP: I see that 60% of you would have your child screened even if you physician didn’t support it and no one has said no. Screening is a controversial topic in the medical community.
Comment From Jim Ferretti: Matt, Screening should be part of the normal steps of a physical or well check at a doctors office. Pulse Ox testing and simple other checks go a long way to make sure our kids are healthy.
Matt Nipper, Ms, RCEP: it’s commonly not supported because the prevalence has statistically been low, however the stats behind prevalence are not always accurate because of tracking errors of cause of death
Matt Nipper, Ms, RCEP: Jim we see great value in pulse ox, ekg, etc. These are costly technologies and we are able to provide these screenings because of the generosity of our volunteers and vendors.
Setareh Alizadeh: I understand that half of the money for the screenings will go to the Quinn Driscoll Foundation. Can you explain a little about what they do?
Matt Nipper, Ms, RCEP: The Quinn Driscoll Foundation is named for Quinn Driscoll who died in June of 2009, one day before his 14th birthday. His parents created the QDF to provide awareness, education, and prevention programs for sudden cardiac arrest.
Matt Nipper, Ms, RCEP: Money raised helps to cover cost of Young Champions screenings and purchase AED, automated external defibrillators for local schools and athletic facilities
Matt Nipper, Ms, RCEP: QDF Defibrillators have had 2 saves!!
Setareh Alizadeh: Thank you so much Matt for answering our questions.
Matt Nipper, Ms, RCEP: Thank you for this opportunity Setareh! Learn more about our teen and adult screenings at swheartcheck.org
Setareh Alizadeh: I also want to thank the volunteers and vendors who are working with The Quinn Driscoll Foundation and Young Champions to help save kids lives!
Setareh Alizadeh: Thank you to everyone who participated! And our readers! You can join us next Friday same time when we ask Brighton West director of Vancouvria what is in store for upcoming episodes.