Updated 11 September 2013

Diacoustic Medical Devices and the JAG Foundation screen kids' heart

Diacoustic Medical Devices and the JAG Foundation have screened the hearts of 115 children for possible heart defects.


Yesterday 115 children who form part of the JAG Foundation Mighty Meter Programme were screened to help detect possible heart defects spread awareness of heart health for September’s heart awareness month.

“Early heart murmur detection is vital in these children’s lives” says Dr Liesl Zuhlke, president of the Paediatric Cardiac Society of South Africa, who participated in the screening process yesterday and diagnosed one of the children with a serious case of Atrial Septal defect (ASD). The life expectancy is about 40 years for this patient if not treated within a timely manner. 

Children who are born with an ASD have a hole in their heart, allowing less oxygen in the blood that goes to the body and are sometimes only discovered much later in life, which can become very problematic as the opening becomes larger.

Situations such as these and many more are why the JAG Foundation and Diacoustic Medical Devices partnered to screen the hearts of children in rural areas.  During the last 6 months Dr Nuraan Mammon, a General Practitioner at Cavendish Medical in the Western Cape, along with Diacoustic’s medical software device SensiCardiac have screened over 400 children that are a part of the JAG Foundation, including their JAG rugby members.

Dr Mammon screened the hearts of the children, and once she suspected a heart murmur the child was screened by SensiCardiac, a heart murmur detection device that works in conjunction with an electronic stethoscope in order not to refer any unnecessary patients to the cardiologist. 

Yesterday 9 children were referred to Dr Zühlke, where she and her team were established in the Mobile clinic for Kids’ Heart-health vehicle with ECG and echo machines.  3 referrals were positive and will be sent for further screening and examination accompanied by their parents at Red Cross Hospital in Cape Town.

The day started with the children and Mr Paulse, Headmaster of Nerina Primary School welcoming the Diacoustic and JAG team to their school.  Dr Liesl Zuhlke took the stage and spoke to the children on having a healthy heart, the importance of exercising, eating healthy foods and drinking a lot of water.  She raised the importance of not getting into the habit of bad addictions such as Alcohol, as children in these areas are more prone to start from an early age and showing the beliefs of what the JAG foundation stands for.  Quality Beverages also played a role in donating Jive LITE, a sugar-free drink to help make the day a success and encourage the initiative of healthy living.

Diacoustic and the JAG Foundation continue with September’s initiative to raise awareness on possible heart defects and will be at Arcadia Primary School on the 17th of September, screening the hearts of JAG Rugby members.




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