A Herefordshire and Worcestershire based life-saving NHS service, which has screened more than 24,000 men so far, is celebrating its five year anniversary.
More than 24,000 men across the two counties have been screened for abdominal aneurysms or swelling of blood vessels in the abdomen during the last five years, since the joint service launched in 2011, but one in four men invited for screenings are still missing these life-saving appointments.
Eight out of every 10 people with a ruptured abdominal aneurysms die before they reach hospital, or fail to survive emergency surgery. Men are about six times more likely to have an AAA than women and the risk also increases with age.
As part of its five year anniversary, Hereford and Worcester abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) screening programme held an information stand today, Wednesday April 27, at Hereford County Hospital, and the service is calling on men who are invited for screenings from the age of 65, to come forward.
Heather Williams, AAA Screening Technician, said: “We are delighted to celebrate our fifth anniversary of this local service and to see 65 year old men in the two counties benefitting from the latest evidence based NHS screening service.
“However, it’s the men who don’t come forward for screening when invited that we are concerned about because abdominal aortic aneurysms can be fatal and usually there are no symptoms.
Cathy Schorah, local AAA screening programme manager, added: “We aim to reduce the number of deaths from AAA rupture through early detection, appropriate monitoring and treatment. An AAA is caused when the main blood vessel in the body weakens and expands. Most have no symptoms but, if left untreated, aneurysms can grow and rupture, which can be fatal.
“The screening test is a simple ultrasound scan that takes around 10 minutes and results are given to the patient immediately. Men who have an abdominal aortic aneurysm do not generally notice any symptoms, which is why screening is so important.”
The service invites all men for AAA screening during the year they turn 65. Men over 65 who have not previously been screened can contact the screening programme on 01905 733830. For more information on AAA screening, visit www.nhs.uk/AAA
Heather Williams, AAA Screening Technician, at Hereford County Hospital.
Note to Editors WVT:
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- By working closely with our partners, we can make good our promise to deliver a quality of care we would want for ourselves, our families and our friends.
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For further information please contact:
John Burnett, Communication and Engagement Manager, Wye Valley NHS Trust: 01432 372928 or Fiona Gurney, Communications Officer 01432 355444 ext. 5105.