Men of the North East …have you had your free NHS Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA) Screening?

10 October, 2012

over The aorta is the main blood vessel that supplies blood to your body. It runs from your heart down through your chest and abdomen.

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 what is called an abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA). The condition is most common in men over 65 and they are six times more likely to have an aneurysm than women. Risk also increases if you are or have been a smoker, you have high blood pressure, or you have a close family member who has had one.

If you have an AAA you will not usually notice any signs or symptoms; this means you cannot tell if you have one, will not feel any pain or notice anything different. Large aneurysms are rare but can be very serious. As the wall of the aorta stretches it becomes weak and can burst, causing internal bleeding. Over 80% people do not make it to the hospital if an aneurysm bursts.

An aorta that is only slightly larger than normal is not necessarily dangerous; however it’s still important to know about so that it can be monitored and treated if necessary.

AAA screening is a free NHS programme that screens men aged 65 and over, to check if they have an abdominal aortic aneurysm. Men are automatically invited for screening in the year that they turn 65 if they are registered with a GP. They are given a simple ultra sound scan which is quick, does not hurt and the results are given verbally straight after the scan has been completed.

We offer screening so we can find aneurysms early and monitor or treat them. This greatly reduces the chances of the aneurysm rupturing and causing serious problems.

Men over 65 who have not previously been screened or diagnosed with an aneurysm, can request a scan by contacting their local programme directly on: 0191 445 2554

The North East of England and North Cumbria AAA screening programme is hosted by The Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Gateshead but you will be invited to a clinic local to where you live for your scan. Our centre covers the area from North Yorkshire, all of the North East of England and North Cumbria.

Click here for: leaflet with more information on the AAA screening process or here for accessible AAA screening process leaflets, or visit our website: http://www.qegateshead.nhs.uk/aaa

A free NHS check for men aged 65 and over for further information click on the links below.


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