The Centre of Cardiac Risk in Young Persons today, (Friday, 15th April 2011) launched its Annual Report and Future Developments Plan at the Sandymount Hotel in Dublin 4. The report outlined the work carried out in the Centre for Cardiac Risk in Younger Persons at the Adelaide & Meath Hospital and announced its goal to perform a National Study of prevalence of cardiac conditions in adolescents. This study will explore feasibility of a National Screening Programme for cardiac conditions in the young.
Since service began in January 2007, over 3,500 individuals have been assessed in the centre for free. In the last year of full operation, the CRYP Centre screened over 1,350 people who either had worrying symptoms or had a family member who had died or was diagnosed with a genetic heart condition. The charity CRY also provides counselling for those diagnosed with a heart condition or those who have lost a family member to sudden cardiac death.
The age range of patients screened was from 1 to 74 years, with most patients aged between 14 and 35 years of age. Of these, over fifty per cent were reassured and discharged after one visit to take up their lives again without the worry of having the condition
Ten per cent of those screened in the last year were diagnosed with a heart condition. Forty percent had normal readings but require future screening due to their age and or family history. Out of all those screened in the last year three people were referred to receive internal defibrillators (ICD), also known as a shock box.
Two new developments at the centre included the appointment of a Clinical Research Fellow, Dr. Helen Cooney and the co-funding of a dedicated Cardiac Genetics Counsellor who began work in the centre last month.
CRYP highlighted its goals for the future but also made clear the need for further funding to achieve these goals. Dr. Deirdre Ward, Consultant Cardiologist and Co-Director of the Centre commented, “We are very happy with our success so far but demand for our services already exceeds our capacity. We face challenges in even continuing our current level of service, and ideally we would like to expand our service to eliminate all waiting times. In addition to expanding our clinical service we aim to expand our involvement in research into sudden cardiac death and its causes. This may include an island-wide study of cardiac conditions in teenagers through schools. This would identify how commonly inherited cardiac conditions occur in the Irish population, which may assist in planning national services for these young people and their families. We can also determine whether these conditions can be easily picked up in a once-off health check that could be delivered in schools. This could save many young lives. The estimated cost of this research study would be €0.5 million to implement. In the longer term we hope for an agreement with the Department of Health / HSE to lead a National Centre for Inherited Cardiac Diseases, incorporating existing services and with direct funding for activities.”
Dr. David Mulcahy, Consultant Cardiologist and Project Co-Director also said, “The centre receives no direct government funding although it benefits from some support from Tallaght Hospital. All of the remains of funds are raised by the charity CRY (Cardiac Risk in the Young). In order to continue this free service to patients we require €250,000 annually. CRY work hard to generate funding with a number of events, however with the current economic climate, charities are finding it harder and harder to raise funds from the public.”
CRY is an Irish registered charity, which was founded in 2002. Funds raised are used by the charity to support families who have lost a relative to sudden cardiac death (SCD), to raise awareness of the conditions that cause SCD, and to fund the activities of the Centre for Cardiac Risk in Younger Persons (CRYP) in Tallaght Hospital. This Centre provides comprehensive cardiac evaluation of those who may be at risk from SCD either because of family history or worrying symptoms. The service is available to anyone in the country and is free to patient. The Centre receives no direct Government funding.
- 50% reassured and discharged after one visit.
- 10% were diagnosed with a heart condition
- 40% had normal readings to date but require follow up
- 3 people referred for internal defibrillators (ICD or shock box)
Please see www.cry.ie.