A simple and quick £35 ECG test could save the lives of the eight healthy, young people that die each week across the UK from undiagnosed heart conditions.

That is the message being delivered by the charity Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY).

CRY Northern Ireland's John Lundy, from Portstewart, whose son Aaron died from a heart condition in 1999 aged 19, urges young people between the age of 14 and 35 years of age to get screened.

Particularly he says, if they are engaged in sport, CRY conducts regular screenings at its clinic located at the University of Ulster's Jordanstown campus – the next screenings are on September 19-20.

John said: "The death of a young person is heartbreaking and devastating for any family. At CRY, we would encourage all families to have their children screened for any underlying heart conditions.

"Eight young people die every week in the UK and one in every 300 apparently fit and healthy young people have an underlying conditional. This really is a silent killer in our midst. We would encourage people to et in touch with the CRY clinic and arrange to be screened.

"It is essential that anyone with a condition knows about it. If they continue to participate in sport or take particular medication for example they could be putting their lives at risk. they may not show any symptoms or warning signs."

Dr Steve Cox, Deputy Chief Executive of CRY explained: "There is a simple way to diagnose most of these abnormalities – this is by having an ECG (electrocardiogram) test. The test is quick and painless. If necessary a further echocardiogram (ultrasound scan of the heart) can be taken to provide further clarity.

"Screening needs to be extended to all young people. Everyone is potentially at risk from the condition and the only accurate means of diagnosis is through an electrocardiogram (ECG). Our screening clinics are a step in the right direction and will help raise the profile of these conditions."

CRY's screening programme is overseen by Dr Sanjay Sharma, Director of Heart Muscle Disease at Kings College Hospital and the London Marathon Doctor. Dr Sharma is a leading expert in cardiac conditions in young people and a heart rhythm specialist. The cost of the testing is £35. Other screening options are available through CRY's mobile screening programme and other supporting clinics.

To date a number of sporting organisations have been screened through the Northern Ireland CRY clinic. the Northern Ireland U19 girls and U17 boys was funded by the Irish FA with the money from the fines paid by players following an incident after Northern Ireland's Euro 2008 qualifier in Iceland last September.

A number of GAA clubs have arranged screens for their members including Eoghan Rua GAC, Coleraine.