Cardiologist and Director of CRYP Centre.
The Centre for Cardiovascular Risk in Younger Persons (CRYP), provides evaluation and treatment for at risk individuals and families. This Centre opened in November 2008 and currently operates from Tallaght Hospital. This is a free heart screening service which is available to everyone throughout Ireland. The service does not receive any direct government funding and is currently almost entirely run as a result of charitable donations and fundraising efforts of CRY Ireland and our supporters.
Diagnosing patients and their families
The CRYP Centre aims to provide a comprehensive evaluation of those diagnosed with, or at risk from, heart disease, particularly at a young age. This includes relatives of victims of sudden cardiac death where the cause may be inherited. These families are seen as a priority. Patients diagnosed with potentially inherited heart diseases, such as cardiomyopathies (heart muscle diseases), rhythm disorders, Marfan’s syndrome and premature coronary disease, are also seen, and their relatives are evaluated where appropriate. While we use the term ‘younger persons’ in our title, we see patients with potentially inherited heart problems up to any age.
Treatment and prevention of complications is possible in most people once cardiovascular disease is identified. Early identification can significantly reduce disease progression, although, generally, complete cure is not possible. Most treatments involve medication and lifestyle changes, although operations may be needed for advanced heart disease.
Even those identified as at risk of sudden death can be protected by implanting an internal cardioverter defibrillator (ICD or ‘shock-box’). While the facilities to diagnose coronary heart disease are available in most hospitals, up to now, services for screening and supporting relatives of those who died suddenly have not been readily available.
The centre was developed by Dr. David Mulcahy, Professor Ian Graham and their colleagues in Tallaght Hospital. The Medical Committee comprises of senior Consultants from St Vincent’s Hospital, Beaumont Hospital and the Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast in addition to those from Tallaght and St James. The two Co-Directors of the Centre for Cardiovascular Risk are Dr Deirdre Ward in Tallaght Hospital and Dr Ross Murphy in St James’ Hospital. Both cardiologists have a special interest in the area of inherited cardiac disease and spent several years with Professor William McKenna and his team in London who are world-recognised experts in this field. Since September 2008, under the direction of Dr Deirdre Ward, an Administrator, a Cardiac Technician and a Specialist Nurse have been working full-time at the Centre.