Screenings find 11 people with heart problems

By Gemma Nettle   |   Reporter   |
Friday 23rd September 2022 7:00 pm
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Craig's Heartstrong Foundation with member of CRY at the screenings in April ()

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A charity’s heart-screening sessions found 11 people with cardiovascular problems over the weekend.

Craig’s Heartstrong Foundation, a charity set up by the Lunt family in memory of 25-year-old Craig who died in 2005 due to an undiagnosed heart defect, hosted the sessions at Noble’s Hospital.

More than 360 people attended to get their heart checked with an electrocardiogram (ECG).

The free appointments were held with Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY), a charity that raises awareness of cardiovascular issues in the young and performs screenings to identify problems.

The screenings are held twice every year for 14- to 35-year-olds.

Craig’s Heartstrong Foundation chairman Paul Healey thanked everyone who helped out, adding that the turnout was ‘brilliant’.

Mr Healey said: ‘The 11 people that we’ve captured will need to be seen by their GP and maybe referred but we won’t find out that information because it’s kept by CRY.

‘The 11 are not super serious but something of concern. They will need to be seen by somebody because there was something that wasn’t quite right, or it could be a life-threatening defect.

‘We don’t know the severity of them, so 11 may seem quite high but it may be that they just go and see their doctor and have a check up.

‘We’ve had the other end of the spectrum over the years where people have had major heart defects that now need to be treated. It shows the power of the free heart screenings.’

Prior to the pandemic, the charity was able to book in around 400 people for screenings, but since then CRY has limited the number of bookings.

At the last screenings in April, only three people were identified with heart problems.

‘There’s been no change to the process,’ Mr Healey said. ‘The last time round was pretty low, it was two or three, which was significantly lower.

‘These could be 11 fit and healthy people who didn’t think there was anything wrong with them and now they’ve got this cloud for the next few weeks while they wait for the letter from CRY and an appointment with their doctor, which is not easy to get hold of nowadays.

‘We are here to reassure them as well.

‘If people get a doctor’s appointment way ahead in the future, like six months, come and speak to us and we’ll put our heads together and see what better plan we can come up with. Usually if it’s a serious condition, the doctors will see to it pretty quickly.’

Mr Healey told the Manx Independent that after two years away due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the April and September screenings this year attracted a large number of young people.

‘Anyone who’s turned 14 a few years ago, you’ve got 14-, 15- and 16-year-olds all coming through at the same time so we had a very young bunch again this time round.

‘I expect that to happen again next year too as we’re still playing catch up.’

The next screenings will be in April next year.

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