Student physicals could be a lifesaver at St. Bernards Health & Fitness Expo

Student physicals could be a lifesaver at St. Bernards Health & Fitness Expo
Dr. Devi Nair appears with Justin and Diana on Mid-Day to talk about student pre-participation physicals. (Source: KAIT-TV)
Dr. Devi Nair appears with Justin and Diana on Mid-Day to talk about student pre-participation physicals. (Source: KAIT-TV)

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Hundreds of young people will stand in lines for the chance to have medical professionals perform cholesterol, blood pressure and glucose screenings, as part of St. Bernards Sports Medicine pre-participation evaluations at First National Bank Arena on the last day of St. Bernards Health and Fitness Expo.

While all of the screenings are important, it is the ones targeting the heart that Dr. Devi Nair, electrophysiologist with St. Bernards Heart and Vascular, is most concerned about during the day-long event. EKG's are taken on students entering the ninth through twelfth grades. 

There are certain cardiac conditions that could cause cardiac arrest especially when playing sports. These can be identified on an electrocardiogram which detects the electrical activity of the heart," Dr. Nair said. "I look at those EKG's and if there are conditions that could potentially cause cardiac arrest, we can pick that up on this simple screening that is provided."

In the past, Dr. Nair has detected abnormalities that revealed Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome, or WPW. It happens when someone is born with an extra connection in the heart, or a bypass. 

"And when you have that extra connection that will let you go fast, a combination of atrial fibrillation which is a bad rhythm or a fast rhythm could potentially cause cardiac arrest," Dr. Nair said. 

Dr. Nair will be working alongside Dr. David Vance & Dr. Raphael Ngengwe to look at student EKG's.

"If they show up, we can get it done," Dr. Nair said. "The most important thing is to come to the screenings so we can catch an abnormality and fix it before there is a problem."

The pre-participation evaluations will be held on Sunday, April 15th during the St. Bernards Medical Group Health & Fitness Expo. Athletes and their parents must enter the Blue Entrance. They will proceed to registration tables. Please note that junior high is for those students entering 7th-8th grade this fall, and senior high is for those students entering 9th – 12th grade.  

School Times (male and female):  

  • 11:00 a.m. - Brookland 
  • 11:30 a.m. - Nettleton Jr. High 
  • 11:45 a.m. - Nettleton Sr. High 
  • 12:00 p.m. - Bay 
  • 12:30 p.m. - Annie Camp, Jonesboro  
  • 1:00 p.m.   - MacArthur, Jonesboro  
  • 1:30 p.m.   - Jonesboro 
  • 2:00 p.m.   - Riverside 
  • 2:15 p.m.   - Valley View Jr. High 
  • 2:30 p.m.   - Valley View Sr. High  
  • 3:00 p.m.   - Westside  

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