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Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital and Heart Valve Voice team up to offer free heart checks in the city

8 months ago

By The Guide Liverpool

Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital and Heart Valve Voice team up to offer free heart checks in the city

UK heart valve disease charity, Heart Valve Voice, and Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital cardiology team are offering free heart checks from a pop-up bus in the city in an attempt to address the decrease in diagnosis of heart valve disease.

On April 1st from 10am – 3pm, the team will be at Williamson Square on a blue Medtronic ‘Your Heart Matters’ bus.

They will be offering advice to the people of Liverpool about heart valve disease, and there will be the opportunity to have a heart rhythm check and a stethoscope check (cardiac auscultation) which detects heart valve disease.

Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital - Heart Valve Voice

The team from LHCH will include consultants, senior trainees, physiologists and specialist nurses who all care for patients with heart valve disease at LHCH, as well as Heart Valve Voice patient advocates. On the day, anyone who is diagnosed with a heart murmur or irregular pulse will be given a letter to share with their GP for further investigations.

The team is collaborating with Valve for Life and Heart Valve Voice to empower patients to access healthcare and raise public awareness of these heart valve conditions.

Heart Valve Voice CEO, Wil Woan, said:

“We are looking forward to providing education to the people of Birmingham and hope to raise awareness that a simple stethoscope check could identify important heart disease. On the day, trained cardiologists will be on hand to perform cardiac auscultation and give immediate feedback to members of the public, which could save lives.”

Heart valve disease affects 1.5million people in the UK and can be fatal if untreated. Most serious heart valve disorders can be detected by listening to the heart with a stethoscope. A trained health professional can detect a ‘heart murmur’- an abnormal heart sound – by listening to the heart, and this may indicate a heart valve problem. A recent study found that there are approximately 300,000 people in the UK living with severe aortic stenosis. If left untreated, 50% of patients with severe aortic stenosis will die within two years.

Heart valve disease in the UK is often undetected because heart auscultation (listening to the heart) is performed less frequently than elsewhere in the world. This has been compounded by the impact of COVID-19 with fewer patients accessing face to face consultations and so less opportunity to detect heart valve disease with a stethoscope.

Consultant Cardiologist Dr Dan Blackman, said:

“It is a sad fact that Covid has led to a decrease in diagnosis of this common, serious, but treatable condition. This is an opportunity for the people of Liverpool to talk to the team and have their heart checked by experts. I would encourage anyone over the age of 50 to come down, talk to the team and have their heart listened to. That simple stethoscope check could save their life.”

One treatment for the disease of the aortic heart valve is transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI). TAVI was developed as an alternative to open-heart surgery and involves putting a new heart valve in place using a less invasive (‘keyhole’) approach. It is most commonly performed under local anaesthetic through an artery in the top of the leg, and the benefits include a faster recovery time.

Find out more about Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital here.

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