You can get a free heart health check in Leeds city centre this week

People in Leeds can get a free heart health check this week, as part of Heart Valve Disease Awareness Week.

To mark the occasion, the cardiology team from Leeds Teaching Hospitals are heading to Leeds City Centre to offer a pop-up clinic where passers-by can get a free heart rhythm check and a stethoscope check.

These vital checks can help to detect heart valve disease, a condition that affects 1.5million people in the UK and can be fatal if untreated.

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Most serious heart valve disorders can be detected by listening to the heart with a stethoscope, but in the UK these checks are performed less frequently than in other countries – so many cases go undetected.

The cardiology team, which will include consultants, senior trainees, physiologists and specialist nurses, from Leeds General Infirmary will set up shop near Kirkgate Market on Wednesday (September 15) between 10.30am and 3.30pm.

The team will be in a blue ‘Your Heart Matters’-branded bus, so it will be hard to miss them if you want to pop in for a heart health check.

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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, anyone diagnosed with a heart murmur or irregular pulse at the Kirkgate pop-up clinic will be given a letter to share with their GP for further investigation.

Dr Chris Malkin, Consultant Cardiologist at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust said: “We are looking forward to providing education to the people of Leeds and hope to raise awareness that a simple stethoscope check could identify important heart disease.

“Our trained cardiologists will be on hand to perform cardiac auscultation and give immediate feedback to members of the public, which could save lives.”

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The event is being run as part of Heart Valve Disease Awareness Week, which aims to raise awareness of the symptoms of valve disease and encourage anyone who feels breathless, dizzy or fatigued during their everyday lives to go to their GP and ask for a simple stethoscope check.

One treatment for disease of the aortic heart valve is transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI).

The team in Leeds run the largest TAVI service outside of London and they have performed more than 2000 cases.

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.

Will you be heading along for your free heart health check? Let us know in the comments!

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