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Rotary Comedy Night Benefits Athletic Heart Screening Program

March 14, 2019 9:35 a.m.

Enjoy a hilariously funny performance while supporting a good cause during Rotary Comedy Night on Friday, April 5. The event’s net proceeds support an endowment to fund the Athletic Heart Scan program at Sarah Bush Lincoln.

Rotary Comedy Night will feature a cocktail hour beginning at 5:45 pm, at Doudna Fine Arts Center, Charleston, followed by a 7 pm performance featuring the Chicago Comedy All-Stars. The cost for the evening is $50 per person.

Area Rotary Clubs have supported the Athletic Heart Screening program since 1999. This year’s program offers area high school sophomore athletes a more comprehensive approach using electrocardiography to help ensure their hearts are healthy, a physical examination and a targeted health history. Any abnormalities detected will prompt a referral to the athlete’s primary care provider for further evaluation.

An electrocardiogram can detect hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, an abnormality that can cause sudden death of athletes during strenuous activity, as well as several different types of abnormalities of the heart. While cardiomyopathy is an important cause of unexpected death in young athlete, there are several other conditions that can also result in these tragic events.

“There are specific questions that should be asked of every athlete regarding their own medical history, and specific symptoms they should be asked about. There are also questions regarding family history that can be important clues to finding out who is at risk,” SBL Vice President of Medical Affairs James Hildebrandt, DO, said.

Sudden cardiac death in young athletes is very rare. About three athletes per 1,000 have some form of congenital heart disease, but most won’t result in death. According to one study, about one in every 30,000 athletes will die of sudden cardiac death each year.

Sarah Bush Lincoln provides this free screening program twice a year to area high school sophomore athletes. The program is co-sponsored by Sarah Bush Lincoln Health Foundation and Arcola Sunrise, Arthur, Casey, Charleston, Mattoon, Newton, Shelbyville, Sullivan, Tuscola, and Villa Grove Rotary Clubs. For more information or to purchase a ticket for Rotary Comedy Night, contact a Rotary member in your community or call the SBL Health Foundation at 217 258-2511.

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