Texas Student Heart Screenings

Heart Screening FAQ's


What is Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA)?
During sudden cardiac arrest, heart function stops abruptly and without warning. When this happens the heart is no longer able to pump blood to the brain and throughout the body, and the result is death for 95% of the victims.

SCA is the leading cause of death in student athletes. Every year 10,000 young people die from SCA.  Many appear healthy and have no known family history of heart-related illness. Even though medical tests can detect the presence of heart concerns, insurance companies generally do not cover their costs without the presence of symptoms or a family history of heart problems.

What are the warning signs and symptoms of SCA?

  • Fainting or seizure during or after physical activity
  • Fainting or seizure resulting from emotional excitement, distress or being startle
  • Chest pain or discomfort/ racing heartbeat
  • Unexplained fainting or seizures Family history of heart disease
  • Unusual shortness of breath
  • Unusual fatigue/tiredness
  • Dizziness/ lightheadedness during or after physical activity
  • Family history of heart disease
  • Family history of unexpected sudden death during physical activity or during a seizure, or any other unexplained sudden death of an otherwise healthy family member under age 50

Consult a physician promptly if you or someone you know has one or more of these signs and/or symptoms.

What is a Living for Zachary Heart Screening?
A Living for Zachary heart screening is a special screening program for youth ages 12-22 that can help detect heart abnormalities that may lead to Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA). This noninvasive screening package includes:

  • Electrocardiogram (EKG)
  • Limited 2D echocardiogram
  • Blood pressure screening
  • SCA Risk Health Questionnaire
  • Screening review and interpretation by a board certified cardiologist

How often should I get a heart screening?
The American Heart Association recommends screenings for SCA be performed every 2 years for ages 12-22.

When will I recieve my screening results?
The screening results will be sent to the email provided in registration within 3 business days of the screening.

How long does the screening take?
Each screening takes approximately 20 minutes.

When should I arrive?
Please make arrangements to arrive 10 minutes before your scheduled screening time.

What should I wear?
Wear comfortable loose fitting clothing for your screening.

Who is eligible?
Screenings are available for both males and females ages 12 - 22.

Age restrictions were put in place for this event by our partner, Living for Zachary. They recommend that children under the age of 12 should seek a licensed Pediatrician for any diagnostic testing. Furthermore, the cardiologists they have setup to be Medical Reviewers for this event will not review any test results for children under 12 because they are not licensed to do so.

Does a parent or guardian need to accompany the child?
No, a parent or guardian is not required to accompany the child to the screening as long as the child has the Consent Form, completed and signed by the parent or guardian, when reserving the heart screening online.

What is the cost?
A substantial number of these screenings are available for FREE, based on fundraising efforts, on a first-come first-serve basis. FREE appointments will require a credit card authorization of $50 at the time of scheduling that will be refunded or voided upon showing up for the test. Once these spots have been filled, we will still provide these screenings for the greatly reduced price.

What if I can't make my scheduled appointment?

  • If you have a free spot and you notify us at least 48 hours prior to your scheduled screening, we will make a reasonable attempt to reschedule you. If all free spots have been filled, you will need to sign up for one of our paid slots, or you can cancel your appointment.
  • If you have a paid spot and you notify us at least 48 hours ahead of your scheduled screening, will make a reasonable attempt to reschedule you. If no other dates are available, or no other dates work for you, we will be able to provide you a full refund.

There are no free or paid slots available, how can I get one?
If there are no available screenings on the website, you can sign up for the waiting list and we will notify you when additional spots are available


It is extremely important that you show up for your appointment and not be late.  If you are fortunate to receive a test that was generously donated by sponsors, you will be required to complete a credit card authorization of $50 at the time of scheduling.  If you show up at your scheduled time, you will not be charged for the test.  If you are late or do not show, you will forfeit the amount of the preauthorized test. 

The same applies to user-pay tests, in that there will be no refunds for those that show up late or don’t show up at all.  We will make a reasonable attempt to reschedule those that are late, but there is NO GUARANTEE that you will be tested. 

If you notify us 48 hours or more ahead of your scheduled test, there will be no penalty.


Still have a question?
Please visit our Contact Us page.