Local MP Luke Hall, last week attended the first ever Cardiac Risk in the Young information drop-in event in Parliament, to learn more about the devastating impact which undiagnosed heart conditions can have young people’s lives.
Every week in the UK, 12 seemingly fit and healthy young (aged 35 and under) people in the UK die suddenly from an undiagnosed heart defect. In 80% of these cases, there will have been no signs or symptoms until it is too late, which is why screening is so vitally important.
Commenting on the current situation, Luke said; “Every year a deeply upsetting number of young lives are lost, both locally here in South Gloucestershire and all across the UK, in circumstances where more could have been done to save them, if only they had become aware of potential heart conditions earlier.
As many as 1 in 300 people who undergo screenings have a cardiac condition that can benefit from treatment or lifestyle advice, and so I have written to the Health Minister Seema Kennedy MP, to stress that we need a full national strategy for the Prevention of Young Sudden Cardiac Deaths, and to encourage all young people to go for screenings before it’s too late.”
The Cardiac Risk in the Young charity are providing free heart screenings, including an ECG and an ultrasound follow-up on the same day, to any person aged 14-35 who would like one. Each year 30,000 young people are tested, and over 190,000 have had participated in the screening programme since it was launched in 1995. Free appointments to be tested can be booked at: www.testmyheart.org.uk.
Speaking about the impact which this would have, Chief Executive of CRY, Dr Steven Cox, commented; “It was very encouraging to welcome so many MPs to our event at Portcullis House and to update them on our campaign. They talked about the impact young sudden cardiac deaths have had on their constituents and the communities they represent. Some had very personal stories of the devastating impact of these tragedies.
“We are continuing to urge all MPs to help establish a national strategy for the prevention of young sudden cardiac death to ensure the government acts to prevent the hundreds of deaths of young people each year from these undiagnosed cardiac conditions.”