LONDON’S inter-county footballers and hurlers will have their hearts screened this weekend.
Heartaid will test the cardiac health of 60 elite GAA players on Friday from 5.30 – 9pm and Saturday from 10am – 1pm.
The company, founded by Ed Donovan, has agreed to provide cardiac screening to all inter-county players that come under the GPA. There are about 2,020 players.
The test takes 20-25 minutes. Any abnormalities detected will result in the team doctor or the player’s GP being contacted and a follow-up exam will be scheduled. Donovan says that about 6% to 8% of players, across the board, require follow-up tests.
Heartaid’s service is aimed at reducing the incidents of Sudden Adult Death Syndrome. In Ireland two young people die each week from this. In the UK, 12 young people die each week.
In Italy, where heart screening every two years is mandatory for anybody over 14 who takes part in competitive sport, they have reduced the incidents of SADS by 89%.
These tragedies do not discriminate on the basis of athletic ability – it affects players from junior club teams to inter-county stars – so if any club would like to arrange screening, they should visit www.heartaid.ie and make contact.