Register from April 1st
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 31 May 2014, CRY will be holding the ECG screening clinic in Northampton at Sixfields Stadium where young people, aged between 14 and 35, can be tested.
Donations made in memory of Laura Hillier– who tragically died on Friday 20th June 2003 from Sudden Adult Death Syndrome - have funded appointments for up to 100 free screenings during the day.
Laura’s father, Dr Tony Hillier, says; “Having had our first successful screening day in April 2012, we were encouraged to support a follow up session. However, we were unable to book up in 2013, because of hugely increased demand on the CRY screening team following the high profile collapse in March 2012 of Bolton footballer, Fabrice Muamba at Tottenham Hotspur’s ground, White Hart Lane.
He adds; “Our daughter Laura collapsed and died in June 2003, aged 21 years, from a condition called Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Cardiomyopathy (ARVC). If she had been screened there is a chance it would have been detected and treated. We are determined to make sure such a devastating personal and emotional experience does not happen to other parents and families and for this reason are very pleased to support this CRY cardiac screening day using donations made in memory of Laura. We are also very grateful, once again, for the support of Northampton Town FC, who have made available their Sixfields stadium facilities in which to hold the screening at the end of May.”
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, non-invasive and painless. If necessary, a further echocardiogram (ultrasound scan of the heart) can also be taken on the same day 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.