New screening programme signing up patients in Great Yarmouth

The AAA screening team from the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH) will be Market Gates shopping centre in Great Yarmouth from 09.00am to 04.00pm on 10th October.

The team will be signing up men aged over 65 years who can benefit from screening for abdominal aortic aneurysms (also known as AAAs). It is part of a new national screening programme which is being run by the NNUH.

An estimated 80,000 men aged between 65 and 74 are affected by the condition, which is caused when the main blood vessel in the abdomen – the aorta- weakens and starts to expand. If undetected, the condition can be fatal and around 6,000 men die every year in England from a burst Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm. Men who have an abdominal aortic aneurysm will not generally notice any symptoms, which is why screening is so important.

Sarah Pond, AAA screening co-ordinator says: “This is an opportunity for patients to come along and find out more information or sign up for screening. We can arrange a screening test which will only take a few minutes and can save lives.”

Mr Matthew Armon, NNUH Consultant Vascular Surgeon and lead for the NHS AAA Screening Programme in Norfolk and Waveney, said “I am delighted that men aged 65 in Norfolk and Waveney have the opportunity to take part in this screening programme. A simple ultrasound scan of the abdominal aorta is carried out and the aortic diameter is measured. The screening test takes less than 10 minutes, is highly effective and men receive their result immediately. Vascular disease is as common as cancer and heart disease and I therefore strongly encourage everyone offered the opportunity to participate”.

Men who are older than 65 and have never had screening or treatment for an AAA can request to be screened by going to the event at MarketGates shopping centre or by contacting their local programme on 01603 288218 or email the programme administrator Nicholas Loveridge at

For more information please visit the national programme website at:

Notes for editors

1. The NHS AAA Screening Programme sets national standards and protocols for the delivery of local screening services and co-ordinates the implementation of the programme across England
2. The programme has been introduced following research evidence showing that a population-based screening programme, using ultrasound scanning, for men in their 65th year would be effective in reducing mortality from ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysms
3. There are three possible results from the scan:
– Most people have a normal result: this means the aorta is not enlarged and no further treatment or monitoring is required
– If a small aneurysm is found it means the aorta is a little wider than normal and men are invited back for regular scans to monitor the condition
– If a large aneurysm is found it means the aorta is much wider than normal. Only a very small number of men have this result. Those who do are given an appointment with a specialist team to have further scans and talk about possible treatment
4. Men who are over 65 and have never been invited for AAA screening can self-refer for a scan by contacting their local screening programme

Monday 1st of October 2012 12:00:29 PM