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Cardiac screening in Frome in memory of Julian Wort

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 heart charity, Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY).

And on 28th and 29th October, CRY will be holding an ECG screening clinic in Frome, situated at the Frome Rugby Club, Gypsy Lane (BA11 2NA) for young people, aged between 14 and 35.

Donations made in memory of Julian Wort – who tragically died in his sleep from a previously undiagnosed heart condition, aged just 28 – have funded appointments for up to 100 free screenings during the day.

Julian’s mum, Shirley said, “As a family we are hoping that by funding these screening sessions in Frome, through ‘Julian’s Memorial Fund’, we will raise awareness and prevent another family going through the heartache that we went through when we lost Julian in March 2000.”

Dr Steven Cox, CRY’s director of screening explained, “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, as in 80% of cases there are no signs or symptoms. Sport itself does not actually cause sudden cardiac death but it can significantly increase a young person’s risk if they have an underlying condition.”

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 on the same day to provide further clarity.

Dr Cox added, “CRY now tests around 14,000 young people every year but 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.

Professor Sharma makes no charge for supervising the CRY screening programme and due to this support, CRY is able to subsidise the programme so that each appointment only costs £35. Privately these tests could cost in excess of £100, just for the ECG and consultation.

To book an appointment at this screening event or for more information, go to www.testmyheart.org. 

 

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