Isles MP Angus MacNeil showed his support for the national charity, Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY), when he attended a reception at the House of Commons recently.
A number of families in Na h-Eileanan an Iar have been affected by cases of young sudden cardiac death (YSCD) including the Macleod family from Benside, Isle of Lewis, who set up the Andrew Macleod Memorial Fund in memory of their son who passed away aged 21 and the Joanne Fotheringham Memorial Fund in memory of Joanne from Ullapool and Tong.
The Funds support the work of CRY and have organised several free screening events for young people in the islands with more planned for September 2016 and August 2017.
The parliamentary reception launched the charity’s campaign calling for an immediate review of the evidence behind the National Screening Committee’s recent decision not to recommend a cardiac screening programme for young people in the UK.
Mr MacNeil said: “I was delighted to attend the launch of CRY’s parliamentary reception and would like to congratulate the charity for the many awareness campaigns it has developed over the past 20 years to raise the profile of cardiac screening as part of its overall mission to prevent cases of young sudden cardiac death.”
In around 80% of cases of YSCD, there will have been no signs, symptoms or warnings – underlining the vital role of screening.
Cardiac screening of young people can identify many of the ‘silent killer’ conditions leading to YSCD, most of which can be easily treated once discovered.
Screenings organised by CRY are free and costs are met by Funds such as the Andrew Macleod Memorial Fund.
Murdo Macleod (Andrew’s Father) is grateful to the many organisations and individuals who donate to the fund, as it is entirely down to their generosity that eligible young people (aged 14 to 35 years) can have the opportunity to have a thorough cardiac health check by some of the country’s finest NHS cardiac specialists, who make up the CRY screening teams.
Alison Cox MBE, Chief Executive of CRY and who founded the charity 20 years ago in 1995 said: “Young sudden cardiac death is rare compared to cardiac deaths in the elderly and middle-aged but it is not rare compared to the other most common causes of death in young people e.g. road traffic accidents, suicides, accidental poisonings. Many medical professionals and policy advisors still incorrectly think a young sudden cardiac death is as rare as being killed by lightning – which is simply wrong. This thinking is outdated, dangerous if applied to medical decision making and should have no place in modern scientific reports or policy recommendations”
“If every family who has suffered a young sudden cardiac death could now go to www.yscd.org.uk, proving the Government must stop brushing this under the carpet.”