Bill will help save more lives, says IHF

Meath Chronicle

Saturday 29th June 2013

The Irish Heart Foundation (IHF) has welcomed unanimous Seanad support for a new Private Members Bill that will help to save more lives from sudden cardiac death.

The Bill wil require premises with high public footfall to install and maintain automated external defibrillators (AEDs) for public use and provide training to persons on the premises. The new Public Health (Availability of Defibrillators) Bill 2013 is sponsored by Independent Senator Fergal Quinn.

According to the national charity fighting heart disease and stroke, about 5,000 people die from sudden cardiac death in Ireland annually and, of these deaths, seven out of 10 happen outside of hospital and often in the presence of a bystander.

CPR training is a major priority for the Irish Heart Foundation which oversees the largest certified resuscitation training programme in Ireland, training 60,000 people each year by some 2,000 instructors at 190 affiliated training sites.

Founded in 1995, the IHF resuscitation programme has helped to produce a survival rate of 6.5 per cent when resuscitation is attempted.  The latest available research from Ireland's National Out of Hospital Cardiac Arrest Register showed that 133 lives were saved out of 2,033 patients for whom data was available, over a four year period to the end of 2011.

Chris Macey, head of advocacy with the Irish Heart Foundation, said: "We believe that legislating to provide more automated external defibrillators (AEDs) is a vital pre-requisite to increasing the life-saving role of bystander CPR.  But this can only be maximised with proper regulation to ensure adequate ongoing training in CPR and how to use an AED is provided as well." International comparisons showed that higher survival rates can be achieved, particuarly when the equipment and training are in place to ensure early recognition, early CPR and early defibrillation.




Summer School to debate key issues on screening for Sads

Forum ICGP

Saturday 1 June 2013

The major issues surrounding screening for cardiac risk will form the basis of a key debate at the ICGP Summer School in Kilkenny this month.

Dr Deirdre Ward, consultant cadiologist and director at the Centre for Cardiac Risk in Younger Persons at Tallaght Hospital, and Dr. Joe Galvin, consultant cardiologist at the Mater Hospital, will speak for and against the benefits and risks assocated with screening.

Issues will include the background to sudden cardiac death (SCD), conditions that may cause it and how to recognise them. Evidence for and against general population screening and the available options for those seeking screening will also be debated.

Dr Ward will focus on the need to offer a comprehensive screening service to all first degree relatives of sudden adult death syndrome (SADS) victims as a priority. Worldwide data agrees that in 30-40% of cases the cause is a hereditary condition and immediate relatives may have a 50% risk of being affected by the same condition, she told Forum.

Dr Ward will stress the need for dedicated centres of expertise to improve the diagnostic yield but also to provide the necessary management plan, follow-up care, supply information to patients and families and, provide psychological support.

Dr Joe Galvin will focus on the importance of screening of families affected by SADS or sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), and the risks and benefits of general population screening for inherited cardiac diseases.

As regards screening the entire population for these conditions, or at least  young people engaged in sport. Dr Ward will point to Italian data on mandatory pre-participation screening of young people in competitive sports. This data, often dismissed as exaggerating the potential benefits of such a programme, is in fact the most robust body of evidence, collected over 30 years, and demonstrates a potential 90% reduction in SCD, she said.

The debate takes place on Friday, June 21 at 2.30pm in the ICGP Summer School in the Lyrath Hotel, Kilkenny.



Clear-thinking students on to a winner with anti-freeze idea

Irish Independent Tabloid

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Grainne Cunningham

ICE is not often a problem for firefighters, but a group of teenagers have made sure the local brigade's tenders will never again suffer from frosted windows.

Transition year student (Stephen Brosnan (16) and his fellow entrepreneurs have developed a liquid that prevents ice forming on windscreens.

Limerick Fire Brigade has bought a batch of the product, called F21-D, created by Stephen and fellow students Simon Geaney, Luke Barry, Shauna Tobin and Tom Flavin from Desmond College in Newcastlewest, Co Limerick.

The students have set up a company, also called F21-D, that makes car-care products and has received an order for 2,000 units from a global tyre distribution company.


Stephen said they came up with the idea for their anti-freeze product after his father hit a road barrier because of an iced windscreen.

F21-D the D is in honour of a former classmate who died from Sudden Adult Death Syndrome - is a profitable product, and the company is now considering bottling it in China or investing in its own bottling equipment in Ireland.

The Desmond College team is one of 19 from around the country who have secured places at a Student Enteprise Awards bootcamp in the Nexus Innovation Centre at the University of Limerick this week.

The bootcamp, organised by the county and city enterprise boards and sponsored by Ulster Bank, will encourage participants to swap ideas, receive mentoring and get feedback on their busines pitches from experts and entrepreneurs.


Conor Hogan Memorial Walkabout Raises Funds for Charity

Tullamore Tribune

Thursday 23 May 2013

Conor Hogan Memorial Walkabout Raises Funds For Charity

A fun walkabout in memory of the late Conor Hogan took place last Saturday at Tullamore Harriers.

Conor Hogan, Ballydaly, Tullamore was aged just 15 when he was a victim of a sudden cardiac death (sudden adult death syndrome) on June 13, 2011.

A son of Martina and Seamus Hogan, the organisers of the annual fundraisingwalk, Conor was a student at Colaiste Choilm, Tullamore and friends and famly of the late teenager attended last Saturday's event.

Donations made at the walkabout went to CRY (Cardiac Risk in the Young), a self supporting charity which funds a screening centre at Tallaght Hospital where families of a victim of sudden cardiac death can be screened or where a young person experiencing symptoms can be screened free of charge. The charity also funds genetic counselling in this area. The centre in Tallaght Hospital is run by a cardiologist and a specialised team and the screening is free to the patients.

Marie Greene and Michael Greene founded CRY in Ireland after their youngest son Peter died of sudden cardiac death in 1996 at the age of 15.

Ms. Greene, a social worker, learned about the CRY organisation in the UK and then established it in Ireland. CRY's initial goals were to raise awareness of sudden cardiac death, to offer support and counselling to families and to support the development of a screening programme.

CRY was later approached by Tallaght Hospital, where a screening service was being set up, and the estimated capacity of tha tservice is 2,000 screenings each year.