Junior football team to screen for heart conditions

9 August 2019, 07:56

Medical treatment room
Medical treatment room. Picture: PA

A junior football team will become the first in Scotland to screen young players for a potentially fatal heart condition.

Stirling Albion Junior Academy is to carry out ECG tests on players aged 14 and over on Friday in a bid to reduce instances of "sudden death syndrome".

Doctors say it is more common among fit people or those who take part in sporting activities, with men 10 times more vulnerable than women.

The team will join the Ben Forsyth Memorial Fund and Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY) to test 80 academy members in Stirling.

Grant Morrice, Stirling Albion Junior Academy chairwoman, said: "There are too many tales of grief and too many families in Scotland have to go through the loss of a loved one from these heart defects.

"This is why we have taken the bold step to support our young players by offering them the chance to take part in the screening programme."

Every week, 12 apparently fit and healthy young people aged 35 and under lose their lives to sudden cardiac death in the UK.

Some screening programmes have been carried out across the UK over the past decade, including a pilot scheme run by the Scottish Government that tested more than 1,000 young people.

An ECG test identifies the majority of abnormalities that can cause sudden deaths in young people.

The test is non-invasive and further checks can be taken on the same day to provide more clarity or reassurance.