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Screenings at Hornchurch school to check cardiac risk in students

PUBLISHED: 15:00 20 May 2017

ECG Physiologist Pauline Moore screens Harry Story Dartford with Peter Patterson.

ECG Physiologist Pauline Moore screens Harry Story Dartford with Peter Patterson.

Archant

Nearly 200 students were screened by nurses over two days to check if any of them are at risk of cardiac arrest.

The event was organised by Peter Patterson in memory of his son James, who was a former student at the Campion School and died of a cardiac arrest in 2005, alongside the charity Cardiac Risk in the Young (Cry).

Assessments were carried out at the school by nurses from Cry on Tuesday and Wednesday and headteacher Keith Williams explained why treating heart defects in students at an early age is an important issue at the school.

“The event is in memory of one of our old alumnus, James Patterson who died a few years ago. His father Peter co-ordinated the day,” said Keith.

“A couple of years ago we lost another student who died of a cardiac arrest and we had no idea at the time.

“Having lost two students over many years the school tends to have charities which are close to its heart.

“The work Cry do is amazing, they’ve worked at the school for several years now and it’s well supported by parents and alumni.

“The idea is to find any conditions that are unknown to any students.”

Peter has been organising the health checks for the school, in Wingletye Lane, Hornchurch, since 2011 and doesn’t want other families to suffer losing a child to something that can be treated and managed.

“You get heart attacks in your older years but cardiac is more a symptom in young people,” said Peter.

“There’s 12 people in that category who die each week from a heart disease problem. People are becoming more and more aware of it through sportsmen like the Tottenham player (Fabrice Muamba) who collapsed on the pitch.

“It’s important they are screened. In Italy if you take part in any sport you have to produce a certificate that shows you have been screened – it reduced cardiac in sport by 90per cent.

“And it saves the grief of families.

“It may be that there’s nothing wrong with them but the checks Cry does can make them absolutely certain.”

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