Young people

CRY charity offers free heart screening to young people throughout England

Campaing to check the heart conditions of young people. Sudden Death Syndrome kills 12 young people a week in the UK

A new national campaign aimed at reducing the number of undiagnosed heart conditions will kick-off in Durham on the 2nd May.

Sudden Death Syndrome (SDS) is an umbrella term used to describe the many different causes of cardiac arrest in young people under the age of 35. SDS causes the deaths of 12 young people each week in the UK. Of these, an astonishing 80 percent will have shown no signs of a prior heart defect until too late. The Test My Heart Tour 09, organised by the charity Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY), aims to detect heart conditions in people that might otherwise have gone unnoticed.

SDS strikes down hundreds of young people – many involved in sport – at the prime of their lives. Sport may exacerbate an existing undiagnosed condition and the high risk group is the young. The only way to identify young people who are asymptomatic, and at risk is through screening.

The tour aims to test over 3,000 young people, aged 14 - 35 to identify heart conditions which could potentially be fatal if left untreated.

Screening will start in Durham in memory of Levon Morland, who died suddenly from a heart defect, at the young age of 22. More than £130,000 has been raised by his father, Jeff, family and friends over the past 7 and part of this money will be used to fund the cardiac tests.

After this, the tour will visit 12 more locations in England, many of which have been chosen in memory of a young person who lost their life.

Screening will take place in a well equipped mobile unit containing three rooms equipped with ECG and ECHO equipment donated by Philips with a team of doctors and cardiologists present throughout the tour. Testing should take no longer than 30 minutes, and will take place at weekends in public places and weekdays at universities.

Sir Ian Botham OBE, Honorary CRY President, said: “The sudden death of an apparently fit young person is impossible for surviving families and friends to make sense of. Speaking as a parent and a grandparent, I am delighted that the issue is being addressed in this way through this screening tour where young people will be given the opportunity to be tested so that conditions identified can be treated. That is why the work that CRY is doing with Philips to bring about this tour is so important.”

More information

To book a free appointment at one of the 13 tour locations :

Learn more about SDS : CRY

This article was published on Sat 2 May 2009

Image © beerkoff -

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