Through a joint initiative between Newport Cardiac Centre and Medinet, the entire Pontypool RFC squad have received a full cardiac assessment to test for any potential susceptibility to Sudden Death Syndrome.
According to Cardiac Risk in the Young, 12 apparently fit and healthy young people under the age of 35 in the UK die from undiagnosed cardiac conditions every week. Though sport does not cause young sudden cardiac death, it significantly increases a person’s risk if one has an undiagnosed underlying condition.
Dr John Davies, Senior Consultant for Newport Cardiac Centre who oversaw the assessments, said: “Sudden cardiac death in athletes is a major disaster for young sportsmen and women. It is also a major disaster for their families and their communities.
“The leading cause of sudden cardiac death is related to pre-existing cardiac abnormality. To identify any such occurrences, we perform a test known as an echocardiogram. This is a sensitive cardiac ultrasound scan that will detect cardiac abnormalities in the large majority of individuals.”
The consultations were funded by medical services provider and Pontypool RFC’s primary sponsor, Medinet.
Managing Director of Medinet, Peter Jeffreys, said: “Despite there being international recommendations that all young people should be examined prior to participating in organised sport, there is no requirement to do so in the league where Pontypool RFC participates. The wellbeing of the squad is of paramount importance to us, so taking what we view as a necessary precaution is only sensible if we are to strive for progression on the field.”
Pontypool RFC extends its thanks to both Newport Cardiac Centre and Medinet for facilitating these assessments.