An urgent new fundraising appeal to help doctors better diagnose heart patients has been launched.
The British Heart Foundation (BHF) needs to raise £108,633 to buy a new heart scanner for Rotherham Hospital.
The state of the art device uses sound waves to create detailed three-dimensional images which allow doctors to see the structure of the heart and heart valves, also giving information on the function and pumping action of the heart.
This device has a life-saving role in medical investigations for those with suspected heart disease or other heart related conditions. A new echocardiogram machine is needed as the demand for heart scans has been steadily increasing.
Tom Mwambingu, Cardiology Consultant at Rotherham Hospital, said: “The number of people requiring heart scans has been rising. And it’s really important we provide people with quick, efficient and accurate diagnoses.
“Currently we only have three echocardiogram machines in Rotherham and this can mean delays in people receiving a crucial diagnostic test. Such delays can cause significant anxiety for patients waiting to learn of their diagnosis and delay potentially life altering treatment.
Lauren Gilliver, 21 from Swinton, is supporting the appeal. Last year she underwent surgery for a previously undiagnosed hole in her heart.
Lauren, currently studying Fashion Design and Textiles at Huddersfield University, said: “I was feeling tired all the time and out of breath. I was doing a lot of running and thought I had pulled a muscle in my chest. But my GP picked up that my heart beat wasn’t quite right and I was quickly referred for further investigation and then for surgery.”
After a short time recovering and amazingly missing just one week of classes at university, Lauren has now fully recovered thanks to the diagnosis of her condition found in her initial echocardiogram scan.
She added: “If my condition wasn’t found when it was I could have been a lot more ill. If this appeal is successful it will help ensure that people get access to treatment promptly like I did.”
Lauren Mallinson, Fundraising Manager at the BHF, said: “Heart disease and heart conditions can devastate and threaten people’s lives.
“Being able to diagnose any problems with the heart quickly and accurately means that doctors can make sure people get the right treatment when they need it.
“That’s why it’s crucial that people rally to this cause and support this appeal.”
You can donate to this appeal online at www.bhf.org.uk/rotherhamscannerappeal
, by collecting a donation envelope from Rotherham Hospital’s Health Information Area (main entrance) or by posting a cheque to Lawrence Clarke, Treasurer BHF Rotherham Branch, 39 Cherry Tree Crescent, Wickersley, Rotherham S66 2LS.