Aneurysm screening programme saving lives in South Yorkshire

editorial image

A screening programme for aneurysms is helping to save lives in South Yorkshire.

Since 2009, 6,641 men from South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw have been checked for abdominal aortic aneurysms part of a national screening programme.

A total of 94 blood vessel swellings have been detected, 11 of which required surgery.

An abdominal aortic aneurysms is a swelling of the main blood vessel in the body - the aorta.

There are no symptoms and if left untreated the swelling can rupture, causing internal bleeding.

Roger Pidcock, aged 66 from Arbourthorne, Sheffield, needed surgery after an aneurysm was detected during his screening appointment in 2014.

The former taxi driver said: “I am unbelievably grateful - I had no symptoms at all and if I had not been screened, it’s hard to say for sure, but I might not have been here today.

“The funny thing is I am not usually interested in invitations to appointments to do with my health however, as the letter said that the appointment would only take 10 minutes and I didn’t have to go in to the hospital as it was at Dovercourt Surgery, so very close to where I live, I luckily decided to go. It was there and then that the screening technician found an aneurysm.

“I feel very lucky myself and think it is so important that other men like me make sure they go to their screening appointments”.

Helen McAlinney, Screening Programme Coordinator for South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw, said: “Roger’s story is the perfect example of why the NHS is running the screening programme - it is crucial in detecting and treating large aneurysm which can be potentially fatal.”