Fermoy screening for sudden adult death syndrome
Brian Phelan from Fermoy is one of the people in UCC behind a new initiative, which will see college students being screened for Sudden Adult Death Syndrome (SADS).
As the clubs’ executive president in UCC, Brian said that he sees how SADS can affect people who play sports and is something which needs to be detected early. He explained that in Italy, if you play sports, you are automatically screened for SADS and this has brought cases down by 89% over the past 25 years. While there is nothing like this here in Ireland, this is something UCC are hoping to change.
“While there is a great awareness of SADS itself, there is no current campaign which highlights how to prevent or diagnose the problem before it is too late,” Brian explained.
In the past two weeks, more than 100 sports scholarship students were screened for free and the long term plan is that they hope to screen all students. The cardiac screening is being funded by the joint student and staff body, the University’s Clubs’ Executive.
“It is extremely regretful that while in the midst of rolling out this programme three young people have died in Cork in the last number of weeks. On behalf of the UCC Clubs Exec, we send our deepest regrets and sympathy to those families,” Brian said in light of recent deaths caused by SADS.
Brian explained that UCC has more than 20,000 students and of those, around 5,500 engage in sports or physical activity in the university on a weekly basis while others would be involved with their own local clubs or organisations.
EARLY INTERVENTION IMPORTANT
Students will be first screened via a survey and if they answer ‘Yes’ to any question, they should contact their GP who will check blood pressure and take blood tests, before going for an ECG scan in hospital, if necessary.
Brian said that the screening is something he could see catching on in other universities, as SADS can be prevented with the right screening in place.
In the New Year, Brian is also organising a series of talks in UCC around sports fitness, injuries, isolation and discrimination in sports, the Olympic experience and also a talk on boxers’ dementia. He hopes that these talks and the SADS screening will create a heightened awareness about the many things that go on behind the scenes in sports.
A copy of the first round screening questionnaire is available to download on www.collegeroad.ie. For more information contact Brian by email on email@example.com.