Doncaster and Bassetlaw social clubs support AAA screening programme

160608 Dave Gravel (left) and Stephen Barns (right)A Bassetlaw man who underwent surgery to treat a large abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) is now urging men 65 and over across South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw to take up the offer of screening by the NHS AAA Screening Programme.

Stephen Barns, 71 of Harworth, discovered he had a large aneurysm after being screened at Harworth Comrades Social Club earlier this year after a roll out of clinics to local social clubs in Doncaster and Bassetlaw.

A scan of the area revealed that the former miner, now treasurer for the club, had an abdominal aortic aneurysm of over 7.8cm.

Stephen is extremely grateful to Doncaster Branch Secretary at Doncaster Trades for pioneering the roll out of clinics and the AAA team for screening him on that day and spotting the aneurysm:

“I saw the clinic advertised at the club and thought that I would take 5 minutes out of my day to get screened.

“I am so grateful to Dave for setting up the clinics and working with the AAA team to make screening so convenient for club members and for potentially saving my life as I wouldn’t have known otherwise until it could have been too late.”

Dave Gravel decided to pioneer the roll out of clinics to the clubs after a clinic was held at Intake Social Club in Doncaster, again detecting an aneurysm.

Dave said: “I was so impressed with the AAA screening programme and realised it’s something that clubs can get involved in to help protect the health of members and non-members in the community.”

Michelle Keefe, South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Deputy Screening Coordinator said: “If you are part of a group with men over the age of 65, please don’t hesitate to call us and arrange for the screening team to deliver a clinic. It’s quick, easy and could potentially save lives.”

AAAs are most common in men aged 65 and above. It is a condition where the wall of the aorta, the main artery that runs from the heart down through the chest and abdomen, becomes weak. It can then start to expand and form an abdominal aortic aneurysm which could potentially be life threatening.

There are no symptoms for AAAs and the only way to detect whether a person has an aneurysm is by having a simple 10 minute ultrasound scan. The scans are offered free for men 65 and over and are provided by the South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA) Screening Team.

Men in their 65th year are automatically invited by post to attend a screening clinic but men over 65 who have not previously been screened can make an appointment by contacting the South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw AAA Screening Programme on 01709 649100.

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