A simple and quick ECG test could save the lives of the 12 apparently fit and healthy young people that die each week in the UK from undiagnosed heart conditions.
That is the message from the leading heart charity, Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY).
On August 29th and 30th, CRY will be holding the ECG screening clinic in Stornoway at Nicolson Institute School, Stornoway where young people, aged between 14 and 35, can be tested.
Donations made in memory of Andrew Macleod – who tragically died on Friday 21st October 2011 from Sudden Adult Death Syndrome - have funded appointments for up to 100 free screenings during each of the above days.
Demand for this worthy service was clearly demonstrated when all the available appointments were fully booked within 48 hours of the ‘on line’ appointments being made available.
Further CRY screening events are planned for Stornoway in September 2015 and 2016.
Those with appointments already booked are reminded to complete the forms attached to their confirmation e-mails, as this will expedite the registration process on the day of their appointment.
Dr Steven Cox, CRY’s Director of Screening explains: “The death of a young person is heartbreaking and devastating for any family.
“It is therefore essential that anyone with a potentially fatal heart condition knows about it. Without this knowledge and, if necessary, appropriate treatment, they could be putting their lives at risk if they continue to participate in sport or take particular medication for example. In 80% of cases, there are no signs or symptoms, which is why cardiac screening is so important.”
An ECG (electrocardiogram) test is a simple way to identify most of these abnormalities. The test is quick and painless. If necessary a further echocardiogram (ultrasound scan of the heart) can be taken to provide further clarity.
Dr Cox adds: “At CRY, we believe screening needs to be extended to all young people. Although screening will not identify all those at risk, in Italy, where screening is mandatory for all young people engaged in organised sport, the incidence of young sudden cardiac death has been reduced by 90%.”
CRY’s screening programme is overseen by Professor Sanjay Sharma, Professor of Inherited Cardiovascular Disease and Sports Cardiology at St George’s Hospital London and the Medical Director of the Virgin London Marathon.
Prof. Sharma is a leading expert in cardiac conditions in young people and a heart rhythm specialist.
For more information, go to www.testmyheart.org