Texas Student Heart Screenings

Heart Screening FAQ's


What is Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA)?
Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) occurs when the heart stops without warning, making it unable to pump blood throughout the body and causing the person to collapse. Parent Heart Watch reports that SCA is the #1 killer of student athletes and the #1 cause of death on school campuses.

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

What Can The Living for Zachary Heart Screening Detect?
This screening can be helpful in detecting conditions which may lead to SCA such as Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy, Long Q-T Syndrome, and Brugada Syndrome. While a L4Z screening can help uncover heart abnormalities which may lead to SCA, it does not guarantee all risks of SCA will be detected. In addition, some heart conditions cannot be detected by this screening.

Is the Heart Screening Invasive?
No. The screening is non-invasive – no needles and pain free.

Will this heart screening clear my child to participate in athletics?
The Living for Zachary Heart Screening DOES NOT provide clearance for participation in athletics. It is a supplement to pre-participation athletic screenings targeted for causes of SCA.

What should I do with my child's screening results?
Share your child’s heart screening results with your pediatrician.

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.


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.