Father issues Cardiac Screening Appeal

The father of a young Royal School, Armagh rugby player who died whilst playing in the U19 World Cup has made a timely call for parents to ensure their children are screened for cardiac abnormalities.
In March 2004, Ian McCall's son John was only 18 when he died in Durban, South Africa playing against New Zealand after suffering from a form of viral cardiomopathy. And since John's death, the McCall family have been firm supporters of CRY (Cardiac Risk in the Young).
"When John died, an average of eight children a week suffered from sudden cardiac death (SCD) in the UK. "But that figure has now risen to 16 and continues to increase. "And not all the deaths are related to sport either – 50 per cent of the deaths are non-sport related and these are not publicised. In fact cases of SCD can manifest themselves into adults in their late 30s.
"Incidents of SCD amongst young people are continuing to rise and these statistics are now being recorded by CRY. "The only way to identify these abnormalities, which is most cases show no symptoms, is to avail of the screening service run by CRY at the University of Ulster's campuses at Jordanstown and Magee."
Since the screening service began in the province in November 2006, the clinic has been very busy.
"Screening only takes 20 – 25 minutes and costs just £35," added Mr McCall. "Sporting associations like rugby, football and GAA have all been screening young players in recent years.
"However, I cannot stress enough the importance that all children, regardless of whether they play sport or not, should be screened."
For an appointment, contact the CRY Northern Ireland Screening Administrator on 01737 363 222, or email cryni@c-r-y.org.uk
Details of screening services are available at http://www.c-r-y.org.uk for further information on cardiac conditions and sudden cardiac death.