NHS Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Screening Programme holds clinic in local Tesco

The Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA) Screening Programme for South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw held a clinic earlier this month at Tesco in Wath Upon Dearne, checking local men for the life-threatening condition.

Screening for AAA is offered to men the year they turn 65.  In some people, as they get older, the wall of the aorta in the abdomen can become weak. It can then start to expand and form an AAA.  The condition is most common in men aged 65 and above. It is estimated that around 1 in 25 men aged between 65 and 74 in England have an abdominal aortic aneurysm.

The screening programme for South Yorkshire & Bassetlaw is delivered by Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals and the team are based at Montagu Hospital in Mexborough.  Screening is delivered in over 30 locations across the locality, including access to a Health Bus, enabling us to screen men locally within their community.

30 men attended the Tesco clinic and one man was found to have a small aneurysm and he will be screened at regular intervals by the programme to monitor its size. In the event a large aneurysm is detected, men are referred to a Vascular Surgeon who will discuss treatment options. Large aneurysms are rare but can be very serious. As the wall of the aorta stretches it becomes weaker and can rupture and if this happens, it can be life threatening.  Most aneurysms can be successfully treated with surgery.

The screening process involves a pain-free ultrasound scan of the abdomen.  Men are told their result straight away and their GP is also informed.  There are usually no symptoms for AAA’s and the only way to detect whether a person has an abdominal aortic aneurysm is by having this quick and simple ultrasound scan.

Babatunde Fakolade, South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw AAA Screening Programme Manager, said: “This simple ultrasound scan of the abdomen only takes a few minutes and can save lives.  Men are given the results there and then, if no aneurysm is found they are discharged from the screening programme and do not need to be screened again.  Men over 65 who have not yet been screened and do not have a known AAA can self-refer to the programme by contacting the team on 01709 649100.  As there are no signs and symptoms of the condition, it’s crucial that men aged 65 and over, take advantage of this free service.”

If you are a member of a group of older men and would like the team to come along and talk about the importance of screening please get in touch with the Communications and Engagement Screening Team on Tel: 01909 572726. Watch our video showing you how quick and simple this screening process is: