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Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust

One millionth man screened for Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm

6 January 2016

AAA team
Members of the AAA screening team

Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust is celebrating the success of its screening programme for Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA) this week, after the one millionth man was screened for the condition nationally.

The local screening programme, which covers both Herefordshire and Worcestershire, has proved highly successful screening 4452 men in the two counties over the last year alone.

The milestone was reached this week with the one millionth 65-year-old man in England being screened for AAA, marking a key achievement for the national NHS Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Screening Programme.

Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms are caused when the main blood vessel in the body weakens and expands. Most AAAs have no symptoms but, if left untreated, aneurysms can grow and rupture, which can be fatal. Eight out of every ten people with a ruptured AAA die before they reach hospital or fail to survive emergency surgery.

Since the national programme began in 2009, well over 10,000 aneurysms have been detected that need monitoring or treatment and more than 2,000 men with large aneurysms have been referred for successful surgical repairs.

85% of eligible men in Herefordshire and Worcestershire took up their invitation for AAA screening in 2014/15, revealing how the programme is successfully engaging with the local population.

AAA screening is offered to all men registered with a GP during the year they turn 65. Men over 65 who are registered with a GP and live in Herefordshire or Worcestershire and have not been screened can self-refer by contacting the Herefordshire and Worcestershire AAA Screening Programme directly on 01905 733830.

The aim of the screening programme is to reduce the number of deaths from AAA rupture through early detection, appropriate monitoring and treatment.

The screening involves a simple ultrasound scan that looks for a weakness and enlargement of the aorta, the main blood vessel in the body. The results are available straight away.

Mr Eric Grocott, Clinical Director, Herefordshire and Worcestershire AAA Screening Programme said: “The AAA screening programme has proved very successful with 85% of eligible men in Herefordshire and Worcestershire taking up our offer of screening. We have screened 4500 new men per year; this is in addition to our regular follow ups.

"We hope to continue this success in 2016 and hope to prevent all premature deaths from AAA”.

Dr Anne Mackie, Director of Screening at Public Health England, said: “It’s great news that one million men have now been screened for AAA. The death rate after a rupture is about 80%, as many patients die before they reach hospital. The programme has been a major public health success story and has proved to be crucial in detecting and treating large aneurysms, leading to the prevention of premature deaths in men aged 65 years and over".

Page last updated: 06 January 2016