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Centre to screen for sudden heart death
[Posted: Wed 12/11/2008 www.irishhealth.com]
A new unit aims to screen over 1,600 young patients for risk of sudden cardiac death.
Awareness of sudden cardiac death has increased in recent years due to the sudden deaths of some high-profile athletes.
The Centre for Cardiovascular Risk in Younger Persons (CRYP), which will carry out the screening was been officially opened recently at Tallaght Hospital in Dublin.
Over 5,000 people suffer sudden cardiac death in Ireland each year, of which 60 to 80 are under 35 years of age.
Cardiac disease in young people is mostly due to inherited heart disease or birth defects.
In response to the need for screening for sudden cardiac death risk and to support relatives of those who have died, the dedicated new treatment centre at Tallaght Hospital was opened.
The centre was developed by heart specialsits Dr David Mulcahy and Prof Ian Graham, along with other specialists at Tallaght and St James's hospitals.
The centre is operating from Tallaght Hosoital, with a clinic at St James's, and there are plans to open a clinic at St Vincent's Hospital as well.
The organisers of the centre have pointed out that while the facilities to diagnose coronary heart disease are available in most hospitals, services for screening and supporting relatives of those who have died from sudden cardiac death have not been readily available.
Access to the centre is by referral from a GP or consultant.
Patients can be referred from anywhere in the country and there is no charge made to patients regardless of their financial or insurance status.
The centre hopes to screen 1,600 patients initially, with an eventual expansion to up to 3,000.
The new centre is supported by the charity CRY (Cardiac Risk in the Young), which is actively engaged in fundraising to support the centre.
CRY was established in 2002 by parents who had experienced the sudden death of a child and were troubled by the lack of systematic medical and emotional support.
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