Cardiac Screening at Everton FC
Cardiologists and cardiac physiologists from Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital, in conjunction with The Vital Sounds Foundation (VSF) raised awareness of heart health by holding a cardiac screening event on Saturday 16th July at Everton Football Club.
Young men and women, aged 15-35 years, were invited to attend the free screening session.
Following an initial assessment of fitness, previous medical issues and family history, those who attended then had an electrocardiogram (ECG) and, where appropriate, an echocardiogram of the heart.
An ECG measures the electrical activity and rhythm of the heart. It helps to identify possible abnormalities, which with further testing can ascertain the potential risk of a cardiac arrest.
Echocardiography, also known as ‘echo’, is a painless cardiac ultrasound test that gives accurate pictures of the structure of the heart including the chambers and valves. It highlights any structural abnormalities that can then be assessed further.
VSF was formed in 2010 by Steve Haw, following the tragic and sudden death of his son Chris. It seeks to raise awareness of sudden cardiac arrest and the importance of screening young people for undiagnosed heart conditions.
“Chris was a much loved son, brother, grandson and friend to many people throughout his local community,” said Steve.
“He was a fit and healthy 25 year old young man who presented no previous heart conditions, and yet he died from sudden cardiac arrest.”
Every week, between 5 and 10 young people die from sudden cardiac arrest.
Steve added: “If we’re able to identify just one person through screening events such as this, it makes it all worthwhile.”
Dr Derick Todd, Consultant Cardiologist at LHCH, said, “Following a number of high profile incidents in recent years, there is an increasing awareness of the fact that heart conditions can trigger serious problems in young people, especially during sport.
“It is incredibly difficult to predict who could be affected when individuals have no symptoms and exercise regularly, but cardiac screening is so important because it can help identify an abnormality that has previously gone undetected.”