Students are supporting an awareness-raising week of activities to help promote better understanding of sudden heart deaths.
SADS Awareness Week will take place from 2-6 October 2017. It is organised by Leicestershire charity the Joe Humphries Memorial Trust (JHMT), set up after the death of Rothley teenager Joe Humphries in 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.
On Wednesday, De Montfort University Students’ Union (DSU) will be hosting Leicestershire's 'Restart A Heart Day' as part of SADS Week while the following day, DMU will host talks on SADs and its implications for those who play sport - with a bit of help from rugby legend Martin Johnson.
Flashback to DSU and the JHMT installing a defibrillator on campus
Students and staff will be invited to learn CPR and how to use a defibrillator in the students’ union building. The event will be open anyone passing by, with training delivered by East Midlands Ambulance Service, Community First Responders and JHMT.
Led by Dr Ffion Davies, consultant in A&E and JHMT’s SADS expert, Thursday's session will examine SADS and its implications for those who participate in physical activities. There will also be feedback from other local heartsafe initiatives, including Leicester City Council’s Heart Friendly Parks scheme and Leicestershire County Cricket Club’s Heart Awareness Cricket project, both of which run in conjunction with JHMT.
The talk starts at 5.30pm in the Hugh Aston building and is open to all students, staff, and members of the community. For further details, call 0116 366 4813 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
JHMT patron and rugby legend Martin Johnson, who will open the Thursday talk, said: “Once again, SADS Week is a timely reminder for us all of the importance of people having basic CPR life-saving skills and knowing how to use a defibrillator.
“What a bystander does or does not do in those vital few seconds and minutes following a collapse can be the difference between surviving or not. Every year in the UK, there are 27,000 potentially survivable sudden cardiac deaths. Simple skills really do save lives and CPR can buy vital time.”
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JHMT medical lead and consultant in emergency medicine at Leicester’s hospitals, Dr Ffion Davies, said: “It’s great to see that year on year the JHMT increases SADS awareness amongst healthcare professionals in Leicestershire, and promotes CPR training and defibrillator familiarity amongst more and more local sports organisations, schools and members of the public. This will save lives."
Follow SADS Awareness Week events and activities on Facebook and Twitter: facebook.com/jhmtorguk or @jhmt.org.uk
Posted on Friday 29th September 2017