The NHS Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA) Screening Programme in North Staffordshire has been a huge success for men turning 65. Research has demonstrated that offering men ultrasound screening in their 65th year could reduce the rate of premature death from ruptured AAA by up to 50%.
From 2012 men have been automatically invited for screening in the year they turn 65. Men who are older than 65, and who have not previously been screened or treated for AAA, could opt in through self-referral direct to the screening programme. There are around 6,000 deaths each year in England and Wales from ruptured AAA and Vascular disease accounts for 40% of UK deaths. Vascular disease is as common as cancer and heart disease.
In the first year of the programme being established in the area, more than 6,500 men were screened, 90 aneurysms detected and seven men underwent operations.
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If you are over 65 years old please contact 01782 674356 to make an appointment. Our clinics are held out in the community in a number of GP surgeries and health centres.
Former footballer Terry Conroy suffered from an abdominal aortic aneurysm, from which only one-in-10 people have a chance of surviving.
The former Stoke City player now spends his time encouraging older men to get checked for the condition. He wants over 65s to be scanned for the condition where the body's main blood vessel, the aorta, weakens and expands. After falling ill Terry was brought to University Hospital and underwent emergency surgery.
Terry said: "What's happened to me has had a very positive effect on people around me because they think if it could happen to me then I better get it checked out.
"My local priest kept saying it's a miracle and I have to agree with him, because what happened to me has happened to others and they haven't survived. Out of nowhere came this severe pain in the back region and I felt at the time it was a little bit more than the usual spasms we all get at our age.
"Within minutes I collapsed, and the next thing I know I'm on the floor of a car park with a paramedic attending to me. The bulge in my aorta was five times the size and it burst on the operating table. If it had burst at any other time I would've died within a minute, because that's how long it takes over your body. You basically drown in your own blood."