New county-wide medical screening programme for older men to detect potentially fatal condition

Health news.
Health news.

All men aged 65 will be checked for a potentially deadly condition under a new national screening programme.

The scheme will check men for abdominal aortic aneurysm - also known as AAA - which is caused when the main blood vessel in the abdomen weakens and starts to expand.

If this goes undetected, the condition can be fatal and around 6,000 people die every year from a burst AAA.

The county’s screening programme aims to reduce deaths among men aged 65 and over by up to 50 per cent by detecting problems early and offering appropriate monitoring or treatment.

The test is a simple ultrasound scan of the abdomen, similar to that given to women during pregnancy.

Men will be invited for screening during the year that they turn 65 and all men who turned 65 after April 1 will automatically be invited. Those over 65 who have not previously been screened can ask to be tested by contacting the screening programme directly.

Consultant vascular surgeon at West Herts Hospitals NHS Trust Reda Awad said: “Men who have an abdominal aortic aneurysm will not generally notice any symptoms, which is why screening is so important. The test is simple, non-invasive - it doesn’t require a cut to the skin - and usually takes less than 10 minutes.

“The screening is highly effective and men will receive their results immediately.”

Doctors discovered that Berkhamsted man David Bates had a large aneurysm when he was screened at Hemel Hempstead Hospital.

“My experience of the treatment I received at Watford and Hemel Hempstead hospitals from the day of my screening through to my discharge after the operation was superb,” he said. “All the tests and checks during this period were promptly carried out with no delays and the various members of staff were excellent and reassured me at all times.”

For more information about the screening programme, click here

Men aged over 65 who have not previously been screened can request an appointment by emailing or calling 01727 897 719 or 01923 217 876.