A generous grant from the healthcare charity, The Hospital Saturday Fund, has supported a screening session held at the CRY National Screening Centre in Leatherhead, Surrey (27 May 2023), which lead to 85 young people having their hearts tested for underlying and potentially dangerous conditions.
Every week in the UK, at least 12 apparently fit and healthy young (aged 35 and under) die suddenly from a previously undiagnosed heart condition. In 80% of these cases, there will have been no warning signs, until it was too late – which is why Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY) believes proactive cardiac screening amongst asymptomatic young people is so vitally important.
An ECG test is a simple way to identify the vast majority of abnormalities that can cause sudden deaths in young people. The test is quick, non-invasive and, if necessary, a further Echocardiogram (ultrasound scan) can be taken on the same day to provide further clarity or reassurance.
Dr Steven Cox, Chief Executive of Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY) comments; “I’d like to express huge thanks to the Hospital Saturday Fund for choosing CRY as a beneficiary of this generous grant. It was wonderful that the organisation’s Chair, John Greenwood, and several other representatives were able to come along to our screening centre and to see, first hand, our screening programme ‘in practice’ and how our funds are used. In fact, one staff member and his partner were screened themselves!
“Almost every day of the week, CRY’s screening vans are out and about at schools and community venues, delivering our expert-led screening programme. And, around twice a month, we also hold weekend screenings at our National Centre based in Surrey, where we are able to test around 100 young people in every session. We receive no Government funding to support this vital programme, which is largely funded by the incredible and enduring efforts of our supporters and ‘CRY families’ across the UK – the vast majority of whom will have been affected by the devastation of a young sudden cardiac death.
“That’s why it’s so wonderful to receive further funding and support from corporates, Trusts and charitable grants – it really does make such a difference to the service we can provide and the amount of young people we are able to screen.”
Dr Cox adds; “Of the young people tested at this screening last month, 10 young people were identified as requiring referral for further investigations – highlighting the importance of CRY’s screening programme, which now tests around 25,000 young people in the UK every year.
“And, again, it’s due to funding through families and organisations such as the Hospital Saturday Fund that we are able to offer our programme at no cost to the individual when they sign up to be screened at www.testmyheart.org.uk.”
CRY’s screening programme is overseen by Professor Sanjay Sharma, Professor of Inherited Cardiovascular Disease and Sports Cardiology at St George’s, University of London and Medical Director of the London Marathon. Due to Professor Sharma’s invaluable support and contribution, CRY is able to significantly subsidise the programme. Privately, these tests could cost several hundred pounds.
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 decreased by 89%. Sport itself does not these deaths but it can significantly increase a young person’s risk if they have an underlying condition. However, research carried out by CRY has also shown that many of these deaths will also occur when a young person is at rest or even sleeping.
Chair of The Hospital Saturday Fund, John Greenwood comments; “We are proud to have been able to support CRY over many years, and most recently with their cardiac screening programme for young people. It brings myself and the Trustees of The Hospital Saturday Fund immense satisfaction knowing our grants make this possible.”
Anyone between the age of 14 and 35 can register to have a free cardiac screening at www.testmyheart.org
For further information or to request to speak to Dr Steven Cox or a representative from HSJ please call: THE CRY PRESS OFFICE: JO HUDSON ON 020 7112 4905 / 0770 948 7959: firstname.lastname@example.org
Find more information about CRY @ www.c-r-y.org.uk.
Notes to editors:
About the Hospital Saturday Fund:
The Hospital Saturday Fund is a registered charity whose aims are to provide assistance for registered health charities, hospices, medical organisations and individuals with a medical condition or disability. HSF health plan is the trading company of The Hospital Saturday Fund which is one of the leading health cash plans in the UK and Ireland. All profits made by HSF health plan are channelled to The Hospital Saturday Fund, which allows us to provide grants for medical projects, care, research or support of medical training within the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland.