Student athletes take advantage of free physicals

By Amanda Hanson - bio | email feedback

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT)- Student athletes from several Jonesboro area schools took advantage of free physicals Sunday at the HMG Health & Fitness Expo. Representatives with HMG say it's one of the largest comprehensive public school physical screenings in the nation.

The expo has offered free physicals to Jonesboro area high school student athletes for the past three years. Doctors examined everything from vision screenings, to blood pressure and dental. This year athletes also had the choice of optional lab testing which checked blood level, sugar, cholesterol, and sickle cell. But what makes the physicals really unique, is the free EKG testing.  The goal is to help further insure students are safe when participating in athletic activities. Orthopedic Surgeon Spencer Guinn says the number of tests and exams provided in the student athlete physicals doesn't compare to any other in the country.

"What we're trying to target is the causes of death in young athletes. Those are heart disease, lung disease, heat illness, and sickle cell. We're either screening or testing for all four of those here," says Guinn.

Guinn says it is estimated that every three days an athlete dies of sudden death in the United States. He says volunteers give their time each year to help conduct the physicals in hopes of keeping Region 8 student athletes from being a part of that statistic.

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