First ever North West ECG testing, piloted in a Liverpool school

Leading defibrillator awareness charity, The Oliver King Foundation, has teamed up with North-west based private medical provider Pall Mall to heart screen young people on Merseyside to increase awareness of undetected heart problems. 

The campaign was launched in conjunction with Jamie Carragher’s 23 Foundation at St Robert Bellarmine Catholic Primary School who were the first school to be offered the testing on the programme. 

As part of the programme, children were offered the opportunity to have an electrocardiogram (ECG) in order to detect any irregularities in their heartbeat.  

This was the first time an ECG testing day had taken place in a school in the North-West.  

The Oliver King Foundation was founded by Mark King, whose son died following a sudden cardiac arrest whilst swimming at King David High School.  

The Foundation has been campaigning around defibrillator accessibility since 2011, saving the lives of 56  in the process and installing 5,500 new defibrillators across the country. 

Mark’s campaign has centred around securing government legislation to ensure that defibrillator access is available in all schools throughout the UK. 

Mark King of The Oliver King Foundation, said: “We’re incredibly proud to be partnering up with Pall Mall and the 23 Foundation to be able to offer heart screenings for young school children on Merseyside.  

Early detection of heart problems is the key to ensuring people are able to be treated and can live with the problems safely. The biggest challenge we face with heart problems is that we may only find out we have an issue when a serious incident occurs which can seriously limit an individual’s chances of survival. 

We hope that with the help of Pall Mall we are able to roll this programme out so that all young people in Merseyside will be able to be screened to detect issues early.” 

Private consultant cardiologist,  Dr Ayyaz Sultan said: “This pilot is a great opportunity to raise awareness of the importance of checking your heart health. Any child or adult who is actively involved in sports should be tested regularly for any potential heart conditions. 

“An ECG can also help investigate the cause of chest pains, palpitations, or symptoms such as difficulty in breathing. 

“During an ECG the heart’s electrical activity is measured through electrodes which are attached to the skin with adhesive pads. These electrodes measure the electrical signals of the heart. These signals are recorded by a machine and are looked at by a doctor or nurse to see if they’re unusual.”

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