Keller ISD: Band Heart Study

Band Families, 

We'll be sending home a packet tonight after dismissal. Please look it over and fill out any information it is asking. We'll need the packets back by November 11th. 

Below is what Keller ISD has posted on their website about the heart study. Also, you'll find a link of a news story that was done in September about this research with UT Southwestern.

Please be mindful that we don't know much more than the information provided in the packets. We'll try to help as we can. 

-Band Staff

Student athletes and band members from two Keller ISD high schools – Fossil Ridge High and Central High – may volunteer to participate in a randomized clinical study during the 2016-2017 school year in which electrocardiograms (ECGs) will be used to determine if they are useful in flagging students at risk of suffering sudden cardiac death.

The North Texas ECG Pilot Study involves voluntary participation from students at all four KISD high schools, but at Keller High and Timber Creek High volunteer student athletes and band members will receive the standard history and physical required, while at FRHS and CHS, band students and athletes will be given an ECG in addition to the history and physical. All of the student participants will then be followed for four years.

“The clinical study at our four high schools is at no cost to the District or our families," KISD Superintendent Dr. Randy Reid said. "For those students at the campuses where ECGs will be conducted it is expected to take no longer than 15-20 minutes. We are hoping for a high level of participation in order to enhance this important research. We believe that results from the study will ultimately help the Legislature make wise decisions regarding this difficult issue.”

The ECG screening will take place during the last two weeks in September for students who will be participating in winter and spring sports and the first two weeks in December for students who participated in fall sports. The ECG results will not be provided to the school districts, though parents can decide whether to follow up further on the ECG results. Local cardiologists will provide an initial follow-up evaluation and, if indicated, an echocardiogram at no charge to students with ECGs that show a potential problem.

UT Southwestern Medical Center heart specialists are conducting the study and invited both Keller ISD and Richardson ISD to participate.

“In the high school age group, there will be more false positives than real problems identified, which has in many cases resulted in healthy students being exposed to risky tests and procedures or unnecessarily being prohibited from participating in school athletics and band, said Dr. Benjamin Levine, Professor of Internal Medicine, who holds the Distinguished Professorship in Exercise Sciences at UT Southwestern. "The only way to find out if the benefits outweigh the problems is to conduct a clinical trial."

Approximately 8 million students nationally play high school sports, and one study estimated that 66 athletes ages 13 to 25 die from sudden cardiac arrest each year, according to the American Heart Association.

“No more than 4 or 5 percent of the ECGs will be abnormal; no more than 0.5 percent will have a serious cardiovascular disease,” said Dr. Levine, who also serves as Director of the Institute for Exercise and Environmental Medicine at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas, a joint operation of Texas Health Resources and UT Southwestern.

If successful, researchers plan to conduct a larger-scale study that will provide a definitive answer to the question of whether mandatory ECG testing for high school athletes is beneficial.