Cardiac screening for 200 young people at Mossley Mill

A two-day screening event is to be held by the Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY) charity at Mossley Mill, Newtownabbey, in March.
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During the weekend, the charity expects to screen up to 200 young people aged between 14 and 35 years for undiagnosed heart conditions.

Participants will receive an ECG and then if required, an echocardiogram. A doctor will be in attendance to discuss results. Medical personnel and equipment for this event are funded by the National Lottery.

Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council’s Community Planning Committee approved use of the Spinning Room and Linen Suite at Mossley Mill free of charge.

Mossley Mill Pic: Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough CouncilMossley Mill Pic: Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council
Mossley Mill Pic: Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council

Airport Sinn Fein Councillor Maighréad Ní Chonghaile proposed the council supported the recommendation to approve free use, seconded by Antrim Alliance Cllr Neil Kelly. Macedon DUP Cllr Matthew Brady said he was “happy to promote this opportunity”.

CRY has been working to reduce the frequency of young sudden cardiac death. Every week in the UK at least 12 young people die of undiagnosed heart conditions.

CRY supports young people diagnosed with potentially life-threatening cardiac conditions and offers bereavement support to families. The charity says awareness not only helps identify those at risk but also ensures correct clinical practice when treating a young person with an inherited cardiac condition.

It believes all young people should have the choice to be tested. It says better understanding of what is normal for young people, can better identify and treat those at risk. CRY offers subsidised ECG and echocardiogram screening to all young people between the ages of 14 and 35.

The charity says: “There is a simple way to diagnose most cardiac abnormalities. This is by having an ECG (electrocardiogram) test. For extra clarity an echocardiogram (ultrasound scan) can also be done. If there has been a young (under 35) sudden death in the family, the family is entitled to be screened on the NHS. All of CRY’s public events are free to attend.

“Cardiac incidents can take place at any time. They are not limited to high-intensity sport; they may occur just jogging across the park or when asleep at night. The screenings programme is not just for people who play sport.

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“Although many of the conditions are not ‘curable’ they are all treatable and treatments range from lifestyle adaptations to drug therapy or, in some cases, surgery. If anyone is concerned or experiencing any of the below symptoms, please contact your GP.

  • Chest pain, especially during exercise;
  • Loss of consciousness;
  • Breathlessness;
  • Dizziness;
  • Heart palpitations or fluttering feeling;
  • Unexplained fainting, especially during exercise;
  • The sessions at Mossley Mill will take place on March 2 and 3 and can be booked through the Cardiac Risk in the Young website.
  • Separately, at the same meeting, councillors approved free use of the Lillian Bland Pavilion for the Newtownabbey Menopause Cafe to meet once a month on Friday evenings during 2024. The usual hire fee would be £21 per hour.

Threemilewater DUP Alderman Stephen Ross said he was happy to propose the recommendation, seconded by party colleague Macedon Cllr Ben Mallon.

Michelle Weir, Local Democracy Reporter