Local people had an opportunity to learn more about abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) screening and celebrate local achievements at a special event to mark the successful first year of the screening programme based at Salisbury District Hospital.
An AAA is a weakening or bulging of the major blood vessel (the aorta) in the body and a rupture or bursting is life threatening. Since the programme started at the end of 2012, over 9,000 men have been screened for a AAA across Wiltshire and Dorset.
Sarah Hulin, Programme Clinical Director and Consultant Surgeon said: “Men are six times more likely to have an aneurysm than women and around 95% of all ruptures occur in men aged 65 and over which is why screening is targeted at this specific group of people. We know that early detection of AAA can save lives which is why the national screening programme is so important. “
“It was wonderful to see so many people coming along to ask questions and learn more about the screening programme and what they can do if they are worried about an aneurysm. It was also invaluable for our staff to hear people tell us how it feels when they are told that their scan shows they have an aneurysm, so that we can provide reassurance and a thorough package of care and treatment.”
Miss Hulin added: “ All people with a positive scan are followed up and scans are carried out to monitor any change in size of the aneurysm. People are advised if and when further treatment such as surgery is necessary. “
The national screening programme automatically invites men who are close to their 65th birthday to have a scan and it is important that the programme is contacted if this appointment date is not suitable so that another one can be arranged.
All men older than 65 can also request a scan by contacting their nearest AAA screening centre. For those living in Wiltshire and Dorset, the number is 01722 336262 ext. 2640 or 2539, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org . We will ask for your NHS number, and all scans are free of charge.
For further information please contact:
Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust
Tel: 01722 425170