SADS Screening Policy

SADS Foundation Statement on ECG Screening

SADS Foundation Medical Education Committee
February 2017

The role of electrocardiographic (ECG) screening to detect patients affected by cardiac disorders placing them at risk for sudden cardiac arrest is highly, and emotionally, debated.  This controversy may provoke loud, and at times very passionate, debate and even anger, sometimes mimicking the fight between the Hatfields and McCoys.  It is important to remember that we all agree on one thing:  we are interested in preventing any and all pediatric sudden cardiac arrest.  The ECG controversy centers only around how best to screen.  If ECG screening was perfect, the debate would have ended years ago.

We believe there are at least 10 issues that should be addressed before any ECG screening program is instituted. Read more.

SADS Scientific Advisor, Dr. Sami Viskin, highlighted for breakthrough research

Dr. Sami Viskin of Tel Aviv University’s Sackler Faculty of Medicine has recently published research in the Journal of The American College of Cardiology regarding screening for Long QT Syndrome in athletes especially.  Dr. Viskin developed a special test called the “Viskin Test” to better recognize patients with a higher risk of sudden cardiac arrest.

The “Viskin Test” is based on the researcher’s discovery that very  between normal and at-risk patients could be suddenly be made more visible using a simple bedside test that requires a subject to suddenly stand up. When standing, at-risk patients will experience a measurable difference in a portion of their heart rate called the QT interval. The difference can be detected by an electrocardiogram (ECG).

Dr. Viskin described his research in a recent issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. Read more here.

Heart of the Matter – Ask the Experts: Dr. Ackerman on Screening

This new video addresses the concern of “Screenings of newborns and athletes for genetic heart diseases.” This video features Dr. Michael J. Ackerman, MD, PhD from Mayo Clinic.