Following consideration of the results of the GAA’s Research Programme and the most up-to date international best practice guidelines, the Medical, Scientific and Welfare Committee of the GAA have advised that the most effective way to identify potential risk for sudden cardiac death, is for players over the age of 14 to undergo cardiac screening. We have all heard of the tragic cases of well-known sports people, such as Cormac McAnallen, captain of Tyrone who have died suddenly due to undetected heart abnormalities.
St. Colmcilles have linked up with Healthy Hearts, Healthy Lives to offer cardiac screening sessions for players aged from 14 to 35 years inclusive. This is not a mandatory requirement but we would encourage as many players as possible to attend.
The cost of this screening is €50 per person (which includes all of the above including an Echocardiogram, should it be required).This is based on screening large numbers of players at a single venue. This cost is borne by the Player/Family as the Club is facilitating the venue and ancillary services for the screening.
It is important to note that an Echocardiogram costs around €280 in the Mater Private, and is included in the €50 cost, should it be required. About 8-10% of the people screened require this additional test. This is cheaper than most GP visits and can also be covered by certain Private Health Insurance policies.
There will be at least two technicians working at each screening session and as each screening takes 5-7 minutes, approx 18-20 people can be screened in 1 hour.
At least 1 female technician is present so female players can be screened also. An appointment Schedule will issue closer to the date.
Date: Saturday 24th February
Time: 9:30am to 2:30pm
Venue: Clubhouse in Piltown
Details: An Appointment Roster showing Players attendance time will issue closer to date
Both males and females aged from 14-35 can be screened. The lower age limit is 14 years, as the child’s heart is not fully formed until age 14. If screened before this age many more tests would be listed as abnormal, causing undue further testing and increased anxiety. The upper age limit is 35, as above this age the person is more likely to have problems due to heart disease, rather than issues associated with sudden cardiac death. (They can screen sports people slightly over this age as long as they have no history of heart disease.)
Just to give you some concise information as follows :
The screening programme consists of the following:
• ECG, blood pressure check and Questionnaire @ initial screening session
• Consultant Cardiologist’s report on ECG
• Echocardiogram, should this be required. This will take place at a later date.
• Referral to appropriate medical facility, if required.
• Those requiring follow up will receive a phone call, outlining exactly what is involved.
• Personal results letter to each individual screened and their GP if required.
Each person being screened is required to complete a Questionnaire and those under 16 years of age must have parental/guardian consent. The Questionnaire is attached and can be completed in advance and brought to the Club on the day. Parent/Guardians can accompany their children and be with them when the ECG etc is being done.
Results are usually available in 7-10 days. Anyone who requires further tests will be phoned as well as receiving a letter. This means that the situation can be explained and it gives the individual a chance to ask any questions they might have. If anyone requires a follow up Echocardiogram, they will go back and do those, usually within a few weeks of the initial screening (they arrange individual appointments for the Echocardiogram, Results of Echocardiograms can be slightly longer, usually up to 2 weeks).
We have employed the services of Mr Oisin McConville, a trained counsellor (IAAAC approved). He will be available should anyone be informed that they can no longer participate in sport, due to cardiac irregularities. Thankfully this is a rare occurrence, but we want to ensure that there is support there for the individual should it be required.
A PDF of Healthy Hearts, Healthy Lives Booklet is attached to assist you in making an informed decision. If you require any additional information please get in touch.
If you are interested, please contact Mark Gallagher on 087 621 5569, so that we can confirm numbers as a minimum attendance of 35 is required.