In collaboration with Island Health and the Island Hospital Foundation as well as local paramedics, Anacortes High School will host the Nick of Time Foundation Electrocardiogram (ECG) Youth Heart Screening on Wednesday, May 4 from 9:30 a.m.–3:30 p.m. The screenings will be held in the high school auditorium and are open to any student, ages 12 and up. Island Health providers and staff will be assisting with the screenings, along with the Anacortes Fire Department.

One high school student per week suffers from sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) in the United States. SCA is the sudden onset of abnormal and potentially lethal heart rhythms that causes the heart to beat ineffectively, or not at all. It can be caused by an underlying heart condition or a blunt blow to the chest.

Island Health Director of Results Management, Patty Codd, is excited to be collaborating with the Nick of Time Foundation, which partners with the UW Center for Sports Cardiology to conduct ECG youth screenings for adolescents and young adults.

“We are so grateful to be collaborating on this program in our community, and we encourage all parents to register their children. If you could learn something that could save your child’s life, why wouldn’t you do so?” said Codd.

The leading cause of death in youth athletes on the playing field is an undetected heart condition. And the majority of heart conditions at risk for SCA in youth are detectable by ECG. The screening will include a heart health survey, an ECG, “hands only” CPR and AED training, a doctor consult with review of results, and possibly a heart sounds physical, if applicable.

The Nick of Time Foundation was created to honor Nick Varrenti, a 16 year old football player who died from SCA in 2004. The foundation’s vision is to increase awareness about SCA and build school and community education around emergency action plans, including ECG screenings and CPR/AED training.

Student screening forms are available at Anacortes High School or at Completed forms can be returned to the AHS main office or emailed to In addition, all students must pre-register for an appointment at Please call 425.967.5828 with any questions.

The Island Hospital Foundation will be purchasing two ECG machines for Island Health’s primary care clinics in Anacortes. In the future, youth sports physicals at Island Health clinics will include an ECG screening to measure electrical activity of the heart to reveal information on heart rate and rhythm to rule out signs or symptoms of SCA.

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Published on April 15, 2022