latest health care news

02.07.12

AAA scan could save 170 lives a year

A new programme is being introduced acrossScotlandwhich could save 170 men’s lives each year. The one-off scan for 65-year-old men aims to detect those at risk of an abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) rupture.

Around 5% of men aged 65-75 inScotlandare vulnerable to AAA, and when an aneurysm ruptures, around 80% of patients will die. Research suggests that finding and treating AAA risk early could save 170 men each year.

The £2m scheme will invite men aged 65 to a screening appointment and should reduce the number of emergency operations that take place. The programme has been trialled in the Highlands and will be rolled out to the rest ofScotlandby December 2013. 

Health secretary Nicola Sturgeon said: “Abdominal aortic aneurysms are a hidden killer which affects one in 20 men inScotland, most of whom will be unaware that they have the condition.

“Sadly, the first sign of a problem for many men will be when the aneurysm ruptures and, by that time, it’s often too late. If left unscreened, more than eight in ten ruptures can prove fatal. But a simple ten-minute scan can detect the aneurysm, enabling treatment to begin and saving hundreds of lives each year. 

“Dealing with potential illness as soon as possible not only means that lives are saved, it also means an efficient NHS.”

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