Young people to get free cardiac screening sessions


Claire Reed

Claire Reed’s sudden death has resulted in free cardiac screening sessions . Pic courtesy J.Stott

A free cardiac health screening session for up to a 100 young people will be held at Fleming Park on September 10 thanks to campaigning by a local family.

Eastleigh resident Claire Reed died suddenly in March this year aged only 22.

Tragically, the otherwise healthy accountant had been married only five months.

Her death fits a pattern of premature deaths from undiagnosed cardiac conditions known as sudden adult death syndrome – however a simple and quick ECG test could save the lives of the 12 apparently fit and healthy young people who like Claire, die suddenly each week in the UK according to leading heart charity, Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY).

Claire’s family began campaigning for CRY in tribute to her memory and  thanks to the generosity of local folk, they have so far raised £19,000 – enough to fund several free screening sessions

On 10th September CRY will be holding the first ever ECG screening clinic in Hampshire at Fleming Park Leisure Centre, Passfield Avenue where young people, aged between 14 and 35, can be tested.

Claire’s husband , Andrew Reed says :

‘Claire Reed, was a beautiful, bubbly, kind, caring, fit and healthy 22 year old woman, who enjoyed working out regularly and eating healthy. We are arranging this local screening session to prevent other young lives being taken needlessly, to raise awareness of the condition and to give people a chance to save their own lives.’

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.

A ‘black tie’ charity ball is to be held at the Ageas Bowl on August 31 in order to raise more funds for Cry and some tickets are still available – if you are interested in having a great night out while helping a worthwhile cause then please contact organiser Graham Hunter on 01489 785501.

  10 comments for “Young people to get free cardiac screening sessions

  1. Graham Hunter
    August 9, 2013 at 2:52 pm

    As Claire’s Dad, I would like to say an enormous thanks to all who have so kindly dontated to CRY in memory of Claire.
    There are a lot of very kind peole out there.

    Also to those at DC Leisure at Fleming Park Leisure Centre for their help in setting up our first screening day for CRY… As Stephen says more to come.

    Also the staff a the Ageas Bowl Experience, who have helped us on many fronts but mainly with the organising of the charity Ball on the 31st August.
    Please come along and have some fun. Claire would have!!

    Also other actions we have taken recently.
    On the 11th June Our families took CRY to meet with the Secretary of State for Health, The Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP.
    The objective was to see how the awareness of SADS can be raised nationally and the introduction of Optional (If the person wishes) screening of young people aged between 14 – 35 by the NHS.
    The meeting went very well, and we hope to have some news on a feasiblity study in the autumn.

    Again a big thank you from us all, and look forward to seeing you at the Ball.

    Tickets are £45pp to include welcome drink, 3 Course meal, Coffee. We will also have an auction of super items and a grand rafflle, of super prizes. We will have live music, a magician, photo booth and a formal photographer.
    Graham, Anne, Peter, Andy & Families

  2. Graham Hunter
    August 9, 2013 at 5:44 pm

    We would also like to thank local media, including Eastleigh News for supporting us in raising the awareness locally of SADS.
    It is just one of the four objectives we have set ourselves as Claire’s legacy. They being…..
    1. Raise awareness of SADS.
    2. Ensure optional screening is available to young people aged 14 – 35. ( please visit the CRY website for the age criteria)
    3. Ensure suitable treatment or lifestyle changes take place if a problem is found. ( Not much we as a family can do here as it is over to the medical profession).
    4. Raise the awareness of where defibrillators are and lobby for the installation of them in places of sporting activities.

    • Graham Hunter
      August 16, 2013 at 4:37 pm

      I should point out that ALL 100 slots for the 10th September are booked. They went in just over 24 hours!
      Please chech the following sites for future screening dates, we will also advise Eastleigh News and other media when we have them locally.

  3. Matthew Myatt
    August 10, 2013 at 12:12 am

    May I just wish Graham and his family every success with the ball, which is supporting and raising awareness of SAD.

    • Graham Hunter
      August 10, 2013 at 4:47 pm

      Thank you Matthew

  4. From the sidelines
    August 14, 2013 at 11:54 am

    How effective are these tests? What is the rate of false positives?

    If we assume that they screen for rare conditions, then false positives will incorrectly identify problems in healthy people, resulting in further investigation and treatment, both of which carry risk.

    It is possible that the screening will result in more deaths or injuries than letting nature take its course.

    (If you do not agree with my statement, ask someone who understands statistics to explain it to you).

  5. Graham Hunter
    August 14, 2013 at 1:32 pm

    Very effective. In
    Italy they have been screening young active people for 25 years and have reduced the mortality rate by 90%!!!!!
    That is the case proven I think.
    Unless you have lost a loved one to SADS and experienced the tsunami of emotions related to that unnecessary death, you have no idea, what is involved.
    To save just ONE young person a week out of at least 12 that die is worth the effective screening.

  6. Graham Hunter
    August 14, 2013 at 1:37 pm

    To quote the Secretary of State for Health when we met him.
    Lives are more important than statistics!

  7. Graham Hunter
    August 14, 2013 at 2:12 pm

    Suggest visit and read what is involved in the non invasive screening.

  8. Jenny Schwausch
    August 16, 2013 at 1:59 pm

    Thank you for raising awareness, Graham. A friend of mine lost a daughter in the same way three years ago and the family have suffered immensely. As you say, if one family can be spared this grief then screening has to be worthwhile.

Comments are closed.