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Government urged to implement a 'life-saving' screening programme

Government urged to implement a 'life-saving' screening programme
19th November 2007

The government is being urged to introduce a national screening programme to check for a deadly blood condition, reports the Times.

According to the newspaper, doctors believe delays in introducing a screening programme could be responsible for thousands of deaths each year.

Two years after the government was urged by health professional to introduce a national screening programme for aortic aneurysms one does not exist.

A £25 million screening programme was recommended by the UK National Screening Committee in January last year and developed further in May.

Aortic aneurysms are swellings in the main artery of the stomach which can kill without warning.

The condition which affects one in ten men between 65 and 79 years of age is the third most common cause of death among older men.

George Hamilton, president of the Vascular Society of Great Britain and Ireland, told the newspaper: "Ruptured aneurysm is a common and painful way to die. The evidence in support of screening is incontrovertible."

A Department of Health spokesman said: “This assessment has to take account of the likely impact on existing healthcare services and the infrastructure and staffing requirements.”

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