Following the sudden collapse of footballer Fabrice Muamba on Saturday
17th March, Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY) has launched a national
http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/31819 - to maintain
pressure on the Government and professional sporting bodies to offer
cardiac screening to young people who might be at risk.
Whilst Fabrice Muamba’s
condition is reported to be improving, the fact that an apparently
healthy, young sportsman at the peak of his career could be affected in
this way, caused shock and disbelief across the world. The news
immediately led to calls for athletes (whether elite or at a grassroots
level) to be offered cardiac screening. CRY has been screening since its
launch in 1995.
Patron John Inverdale (right) says; “The Muamba case should
not be treated in isolation. It is the most high profile incident of
something that happens on an all too regular basis and it is the
responsibility of national governing bodies and the government to
confront the issue now.
we have to wait for a fatality in the premiership to wake people to the
reality of the situation?”
The e-petition – which
urges the Government to comprehensively review its current policy on
cardiac screening - needs as many signatories as possible for the
government to take the issue seriously.
Currently, the policy
states that “screening should not be offered” (www.screening.nhs.uk/hcm).
Hon Andy Burnham MP (left) adds; “The loss of these young
people in their prime, causes absolute devastation for their families
and yet I believe there is more we could do to prevent most of these
believe the current screening policy is out-of-date and based on a
number of flawed assumptions.”
Whilst experts and
campaigners at CRY do not recommend that screening should be mandatory,
the charity believes that a lack of awareness about the importance of
screening will inevitably mean that young people will continue to die
from the often preventable conditions that can cause sudden cardiac
death in young people.
Every week in the UK, 12 apparently fit and healthy young people (age 35
and under) die suddenly from undiagnosed cardiac conditions. 80% of
these deaths will occur with no prior symptoms.
Dr Steve Cox, Director of
Screening at CRY adds: “One in every 300 of the young people that CRY
tests will be identified with a potentially life-threatening condition.
Although screening will not identify all young people at risk, in Italy,
where screening is mandatory for all young people engaged in organised
sport, they have reduced the incidence of young sudden cardiac death by
“CRY wants all young
people to be aware that cardiac screening of fit and healthy young
people saves lives. We want young people to have the opportunity to be
tested. We already provide screening services for a number of
professional sporting bodies including the English Institute of Sport,
the RFU, RFL, LTA and a number of FA teams including Manchester City;
and test thousands of young people (aged 14-35) every year who enjoy
“This e-petition is to
show the government that something must be done to reduce the terrible
death toll of over 600 fit and healthy young people each year.”
CRY is supported by a
number of its Patrons, including Pixie Lott; John Inverdale; and former
professional footballers Clive Clarke (who collapsed due to a cardiac
condition in 2007) and Andy Scott (diagnosed in 2005 with a serious
heart defect which forced his retirement).
Notes to editors:
founded in May 1995 to raise awareness of Sudden Death Syndrome as well
as campaigning and lobbying and the provision of its subsidised cardiac
screening programme for young people, the charity also provides
counselling and support to bereaved families and individuals who may be
closely with a number of MPs to try and improve awareness of sudden
cardiac deaths in young people. This has resulted in the creation of
the CRY All Party Parliamentary Group and the proposal of the Cardiac
Risk in the Young (Screening) Bill which was the catalyst for new NSF
guidelines for Chapter 8 on Arrhythmia and Sudden Cardiac Death.
Cardiac Death (SCD) is an umbrella term for a number of different heart
conditions that affect fit and healthy people which, if not treated can
result in a dramatic and or / spontaneous death. In about one in 20
cases of sudden cardiac death, no recognised cause can be found – even
after post-mortem. This is then called Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome
(SADS). Many experts are now claiming that the actual number of deaths
recorded could just be ‘the tip of the iceberg’ with many causes being
wrongly recorded as asthma, epilepsy or even drowning.