Sudden Cardiac Death (SCD) is an umbrella term for a number of different heart conditions that affect fit and healthy young people which, if not treated can result in a tragedy. In about one in 20 cases of sudden cardiac death, no recognised cause can be found - even after post-mortem. This is then called Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome (SADS). Many experts are now claiming that the actual number of deaths recorded could just be 'the tip of the iceberg' with many causes being wrongly recorded as asthma, epilepsy or even drowning.
CRY's screening programme based on a 10 minute ECG and follow-up echocardiogram (ultrasound of the heart) if required, has been developed under consultant cardiologist Professor Sanjay Sharma an international expert in young sudden cardiac death. CRY has found that 1 in 300 young people carry a potentially fatal heart condition. CRY ECG tests save lives. 12 healthy young people die each week in the UK from these sinister undiagnosed' heart conditions that are usually inherited.
CRY urges young people between the ages of 14 and 35 to register on-line for their screening programme, particularly if they are regularly taking part in sport. The screening programmes take place at a number of locations across the UK, including the University of Glamorgan.
Cardiff Blues try to support many charities both locally and nationally through fundraising at matches and support with PR campaigns. The team chose CRY because of the close link with Cardiff Blues Marketing Executive, Georgina Hughes, who lost her brother Matthew to sudden cardiac death in 2007 when he was just 17 years of age.
Speaking at the launch, Georgina said,
"The charity CRY is very important to myself and my family following the sudden death of my younger brother 5 years ago when he was 17 years old.
"CRY provide families affected by a sudden cardiac death with support not only during the initial days following the bereavement but also in the following months and years including offering counselling, family support days and the fast tracking of heart screening tests to ensure the condition is not genetic; opportunities I took full use of.
"The most important thing to me now is that no other family has to go through the pain of losing a loved one suddenly from a possible preventable condition and I fully support CRY's campaigns to bring heart screenings into schools.
"CRY run many subsidised and free screening events across the country which is something I always encourage my friends to attend as often these conditions present no warning signs.
"I am very grateful that CRY has been selected by Cardiff Blues as the official charity for 2012-2013 as not only will it help raise funds but it will also raise awareness of sudden cardiac death and hopefully encourage more people to attend heart screenings and take any symptoms experienced seriously.
Cardiff Blues centre Jamie Roberts who underwent a screening at the launch added,
"Its great that CRY is our nominated charity for the 2012/13 season.
"The Blues try to support many charities, both locally and nationally, through fundraising at matches and support with PR campaigns.
"We will be giving our full support to CRY this season, whether this be through fundraising or raising awareness at our matches and through our media channels.
"Our Marketing Executive Georgina Hughes sadly lost her brother to sudden cardiac death so there is already a link between the charity and the Blues that we are planning to build on.
"We intend to hold cardiac screenings at our matches that hopefully will raise awareness of Sudden Arrhythmia Death Syndrome."
Chief Exec and Founder of CRY, Alison Cox MBE added,
"CRY is delighted to be nominated as Cardiff Blue's Charity for the 2012/13 season. Every week, 12 healthy young people die from sudden undiagnosed heart conditions. 80% of these young people have had no symptoms and it is only through screening that conditions can be identified.
"We wish Cardiff Blues every success with their fundraising and awareness events throughout the year."
"Thanks to our supporters' continued fundraising efforts, CRY is able to to raise awareness of young sudden cardiac death (YSCD) as well as running screening programmes throughout the UK to identify young people at risk and provide support to those affected."
For further information on CRY (Cardiac Risk in the Young) please visit www.c-r-y.org.uk/