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 18 and 19 January 2014, CRY will be holding the second ECG screening clinic at Fleming Park Leisure Centre, Passfield Avenue, Eastleigh, Hampshire, SO50 9NL where young people, aged between 14 and 35, can be tested. Donations made in memory of Claire Reed – who tragically died from Sudden Adult Death Syndrome in March 2013 have funded appointments for up to 100 free screenings during the day.
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. Claire passed away suddenly on March 9th 2013, just five months after her dream wedding, due to Sudden Adult Death Syndrome (SADS). 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.
To book an appointment at this screening event or for more information, go to www.testmyheart.org