JHMT take the digital route to mark SADS Awareness Week 2020
Posted: Sun, 27 Sep 2020
SADS Awareness Week will take place from 28 September-4 October and is organised by local heart charity the Joe Humphries Memorial Trust (JHMT).
The JHMT was set up after the death of Rothley teenager Joe Humphries in October 2012. Joe died from SADS while out on a training jog near his home. SADS stands for sudden arrhythmic death syndrome, a collective term for a group of deadly genetic heart conditions which cause a disturbance with the heart rhythm and can lead to sudden cardiac arrest.
Every year during the week of the anniversary of Joe's untimely death, JHMT hold the annual SADS Awareness Week to remind and educate healthcare professionals, sports-related professionals and parents and carers of young people about the dangers of undiagnosed heart conditions like SADS. Every week in the UK, 12 young people (12-35 years old) die due to undiagnosed genetic heart conditions like SADS.
In previous years, the SADS Week programme has been a full week of public facing activities across the community, including a SADS in sport talk, CPR/AED training and training for grassroot sports clubs through the Joe's Mini Heartstart For Sports training programme, which is run by JHMT. This has been supported by key messaging and awareness-raising of SADS via the Trust's communications channels, including web and social media.
This year, in light of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the JHMT SADS awareness week programme will be in digital format, and will take place from Monday 28 September to 4 October 2020.
During the week, important issues in relation to sudden cardiac death and SADS prevention in the young will be displayed across various digital platforms. These will include recognition of cardiac arrest and the basics of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), as well as how to use an automated external defibrillator (AED) and how sports clubs and schools can be heart-safe.
Dr Harshil Dhutia, Consultant Cardiologist at Glenfield Hospital and JHMT medical lead, will give an insight into the new specialist inherited cardiac conditions clinic in Leicester, where patients with conditions that can cause sudden cardiac death and SADS are seen and where family members can be evaluated.
This year the Trust is very fortunate to introduce brave teenager Saskia Holland, who will be sharing her story of survival from sudden cardiac arrest and the impact it has had on her life, as well as the implications for her family members after specialist evaluation.
Dr Harshil Dhutia, Consultant Cardiologist, Glenfield Hospital, University Hospitals of Leicester and Medical lead for JHMT saidPrevention of sudden cardiac death in the young is a major focus of the medical community. Unfortunately, sudden cardiac arrest is the first presentation of disease in 80% of these cases. The frequency of these tragedies can be significantly reduced by raising awareness and access to CPR and AEDs in the community, and by evaluation of affected individuals and their family members in an expert cardio genetic service.
"As the medical lead for the JHMT, I am delighted to invite you all to participate in our SADS awareness week. During the week we will be presenting pertinent information relating to sudden cardiac death prevention from how to perform CPR and use an AED, how your school and sports clubs can become heart-safe and how we as specialists evaluate patients with cardiac disease and their family members in inherited cardiac conditions clinic.
"We are all in this together. We can all be life savers!"
As well as providing free CPR and defibrillator training, the JHMT works hard to raise awareness of sudden heart deaths, helps to provide community defibrillators and runs Inspire, a local grants scheme for inspirational young people.
To find out more about the JHMT and its work, visit www.jhmt.org.uk
You can also follow SADS Awareness Week events and activities on Facebook and Twitter: facebook.com/jhmtorguk or @jhmt.org.uk and on the JHMT website at https://www.jhmt.org.uk/sads-week-2020