Thursday, December 22, 2011

Cardiac Screening at Leatside

In March we are hosting a weekend Cardiac Screening event for local young people (14-35yrs).

Details are here.
You can book online for screening by going here.

This event has been organised in conjunction with CRY by the parents of the late Ollie Marsden who died at Rugby training on October 22nd 2008.
Ollie had an undiagnosed heart condition which he was completely unaware of.
It caused no symptoms at all until he died.
Despite me being at the scene (admittedly armed with only a hockey stick) and, soon after, my GP colleague and BASICS trained Doctor, Dr Morris with a full paramedic crew with the full gamut of resuscitation equipment, we could not save him.
If there had been some form of screening beforehand, his was the kind of heart condition that could have been picked up.
If it had been he is likely to have still been alive today.

Cardiac screening takes two forms.
An ECG is the simplest and easiest thing to do, and this is what will be being done at Leatside in March.
The screening equipment, and the program as a whole, is supported by Philips.
The benefit of screening in this way is that they are looking for the particular signs of these heart complaints that can cause sudden death.

As a GP I am used to looking at heart traces for signs of heart attacks or angina and so on.
The traces in the younger people may show more subtle signs, so the expertise is on hand to look for these signs.
If there are any worrying signs then an Ultrasound scan of the heart (Echocardiogram) may be undertaken there and then.
If the ECG is entirely normal then no scan is required.

The testmyheart website has a Q&A section that covers a lot of questions you may have.

I am pleased to allow CRY and Philips the free use of the whole of Leatside Surgery on March 17th to help them run this event.
I don't think it can ever be a regular event, but if we only pick up one case we may save a tragedy.
Better that we pick up none.