Health & Wellness

RWJBarnabas Health to Provide Free Cardiac and Concussion Screenings to Young Local Athletes

1af36dc3e5f7d64a8aca_RWJBH_2016.jpg
1af36dc3e5f7d64a8aca_RWJBH_2016.jpg

WEST ORANGE, NJ — The health professionals at RWJBarnabas Health said that saving even one life by providing free cardiac and concussion screenings at the upcoming Matthew J. Morahan III (MJM) Health Assessment Center event on Saturday would mean they are doing their job.

The MJM center is hosting a free cardiac and concussion baseline screenings to young athletes on Saturday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the South Mountain Recreation Complex, Codey Arena in West Orange.

Available to the first 200 young athletes who sign up, the cardiac screening is open to 6-to-18 year olds. The concussion baseline screening, available to the first 120 who sign up, is for young athletes ages 5 and older.

Sign Up for E-News

“Doing this is very important, especially for your child,” said Dr. John Z Shumko. “Even baseline testing is very beneficial. Saving even one child or student athlete is worth it and that’s our goal.”

Dr. Shumko is the chairman of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation for Saint Barnabas Medical Center as well as the Medical Director for the Sports and Physical Medicine Institute and the Comprehensive Rehabilitation Center.

He said that by hosting screenings like this in the past, the center has found abnormalities in young athletes that they were not aware of and were able to point them in the right direction. According to Shumko, identifying these abnormalities was likely lifesaving in many cases.

“If we could help prevent concussions or identify them correctly and educate the students, coaches, athletic directors and parents, we’ve done our job,” said Shumko. “If we identify one single athlete with a cardiac abnormality and help decrease that risk that they would’ve sustained a worse cardiac condition or sudden death, we’ve done our job. To me, it’s a no brainer to come and get these screenings done so your child will play in a safer environment.”

Nearly 90 percent of sudden cardiac deaths in young athletes occur during or after athletic activities, and hidden heart conditions are often the cause, according to RWJBarnabas Health. Cardiac screenings help to identify players who may require further testing or intervention.

Having a concussion baseline study (ImPACT) for a young athlete can also help identify future issues. If an athlete is believed to have suffered a head injury, this screening test may be used to evaluate the severity of the head injury and determine when it is safe to return to play.

The screening program furthers RWJBarnabas Health's commitment to the health and well being of children and young adults in the area.

Shumko said the screenings are intended to help the student athletes of all different ages identify any pre-existing conditions as well as to identify how to treat the individual should he or she endure an injury. Should any pre-existing conditions be identified, Shumko said the professionals are also able to provide rehabilitation to get them back on the field.  

“We know all to well that athletes have had sudden cardiac arrests while doing athletics but with no previous history or symptoms, so this can happen,” he said. “What the screening does is help identify those athletes that are at risk.”

Looking at the prevalence of concussions today, Shumko also said RWJBarnabas is able to identify and treat concussions better than ever before because the professionals understand them better.

“So many more athletes are playing sports and contact sports where head injuries occur—and they could be mild or more severe,” said Shumko. “Many times the symptoms may be mild or you might not even realize that you have a concussion. So if there is any question of it, having a baseline and then having repeat testing after the injury is very important.”

Shumko urged anyone who has the opportunity this weekend to attend the event and get these screenings done for their children. Should anyone not be available to attend this event, Shumko said the center is open on a daily basis to perform these tests.

Screenings are free of charge and a parent or guardian is asked to be present. Registration is required. To register and schedule an appointment time, parents/guardians should contact Teamlink@rwjbh.org.

The MJM Health Assessment Center for Athletes provides education, evaluation and assessment of sports injury and sports-related cardiac and concussion screenings.

More than 20,000 screenings have been performed since the center’s inception.

For more information about the MJM Health Assessment Center for Athletes, visit www.barnabashealth.org/morahan or call 973-322-7913.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Livingston

Deegan Dental Implant Special!

June 19, 2018

WEST ORANGE, NJ - OUR NEW DENTAL IMPLANT SPECIAL OFFER WILL GIVE YOU REASON TO SMILE!

Deegan Dental is happy to announce our New Dental Implant Special Offer that will give you a reason to smile! Our New Special Offer, that expires 11/30/2018, covers a single Complete Tooth Replacement (including the Implant, Stock Abutment and E-max Crown) for only $2,200 per Implant; a Great Value ...

Free Smoothie 2-7 p.m. at Tropical Smoothie Cafe

LIVINGSTON, NJ — Friday, June 15, 2018 is National Flip Flop Day, created by Tropical Smoothie Cafe to celebrate their customers and kick-off their fundraising for Camp Sunshine in Casco, Maine.

From 2 to 7 p.m. June 15, get a free limited-edition Sunshine Smoothie when you wear flip flops to any of the 600-plus locations including the Livingston café!

No coupon or ...

Upcoming Events

Thu, June 21, 7:00 PM

Livingston

Flexibility in Retirement

Business & Finance

Carousel_image_5e177eaae57739064cd4_397f63ad2fb50392a776_29178074_2107642336134787_2638697507160326144_n

Sun, June 24, 11:00 AM

Totowa

MakerFest 2018

Tue, July 17, 7:00 PM

Livingston Public Library, Livingston

Organically Yours: a wellness experience with ...

Millburn's Peter Serruto Drafted by Cincinnati Reds

June 6, 2018

MILLBURN, NJ - Peter Serruto, who just completed his senior season at Millburn High School, was selected by the Cincinnati Reds in the 22d round of the Major League Baseball Amateur Draft on Wednesday.

Serruto was the 649th pick overall.

The 6-foot, 190-pound right-handed batter has been a defensive standout since he first suited up in a Millburn uniform as a freshman.

"Defensively, ...

Livingston Water Department Presents Annual Drinking Water Quality Report

June 18, 2018

LIVINGSTON, NJ — The Livingston Water Department has released this year’s Annual Drinking Water Quality Report, which is designed to inform property owners about the quality water and services delivered to them every day.

“Our constant goal is to provide you with a safe and dependable supply of drinking water,” the department wrote in its report. “We want you ...

Cool Ways to Save Money This Summer

As the summer temperatures rise, home cooling costs rise as well. But there are ways to help save money without sweating the heat:

To increase your cooling system’s efficiency by as much as 20%, get it checked out for summer.  A technician will clean the condenser, make sure you have the optimal amount of refrigerant, and ensure the airflow over the coil is ...