Launch of new alert card
The AAA screening programme has recently introduced an alert card scheme for those men under surveillance following detection of a small or medium AAA at their initial scan.
The card is designed to fit in a standard wallet. One side contains information on the size of the man’s AAA and how frequently he attends for surveillance. The other side carries screening programme contact details. Men are encouraged to carry these cards and present them to an HSC professional when attending hospital or medical appointments.
Record numbers attend 2017 Service User Event
The AAA screening programme’s fifth annual Service User Event took place on 6 April in Grosvenor Hall, Belfast. The morning workshop was attended by a record number of almost 100 participants.
More than 70 of these were service users, including many who had participated in service user events in previous years.
The event was hosted by members of the programme team, including staff from the Public Health Agency and the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust.
The programme was also delighted to welcome the Chair of the Public Health Agency, Mr Andrew Dougal.
One of the main aims of the morning was to provide an update on initiatives to develop and improve the programme, including progress on suggestions made by service users at the 2016 event.
Participants were also able to meet and share their experiences of AAA screening with fellow service users and suggest more ideas for ensuring the programme continues to meet user needs.
AAA screening staff are working through the results of these discussions as part of ongoing quality improvement efforts.
The programme team would like to extend a huge thank you to all those who were able to attend the event and help make such a valuable contribution to the ongoing development of the Northern Ireland AAA Screening Programme.
If you would like further information on the event, please contact Jacqueline McDevitt, Quality Assurance Manager, at [email protected] or on 028 9536 1505.
Large AAA diagnosis: Barry’s story
My name is Barry. Two years ago I was offered the opportunity to have a scan under the NI AAA Screening Programme. I must admit I was not overly keen. I was reasonably fit, working every day, and in no pain or discomfort. To be honest, I read through the literature and decided this was not for me, I felt great. On the day of my scan, as luck would have it, I found myself within a hundred yards of the medical centre close to my appointment time and decided to give it a go. The screening was over within ten minutes, nothing more that lying on a bed and rolling your shirt up to expose your stomach. The staff were extremely friendly and explained the whole procedure to me. When the scan was finished, I was found to be one of the few to have a large aneurysm. What all this meant was explained to me in detail, and I was told what would happen next. Two hours later I was contacted and an appointment set up to visit the hospital two days after that for a pre-op assessment. This I attended. Everything was explained to me in great detail and numerous tests made. I finished the day in the company of my surgeon, who answered any questions or concerns I had, and I was given a likely date for my operation. I had by now realised how serious a large AAA is and how, if left unattended, it could affect my quality of life. As I said earlier, my lifestyle was reasonably active, I enjoy the outdoors, walking, and enjoyed my work, with no intention of retiring. Without my undergoing surgery, all this could cease.
I decided to go ahead and two days later I presented myself at the hospital and the following day my operation was over.
I am glad to say it was a 100% success.
Six days after this I was on my way home, still a bit uncomfortable, but nevertheless able to get on with my life and, after a month convalescing, returned to my daily routine.
I have no doubt my attending the scan when I did saved my life.
It is so simple, it shows over 98% of men over 65 as not having an aneurysm.
If asked to attend an AAA Screening Programme scan, please take advantage of this opportunity, no matter how good you feel. It only takes ten minutes…
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