Monday 1st August 2022

On Wednesday, August 10th, Heart Valve Voice and Greater Manchester cardiology services will be offering free heart checks from a pop-up bus in St Ann's Square, Manchester, in an attempt to address the decrease in diagnosis of heart valve disease.

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On Wednesday, August 10th, from 10 am - 3 pm, the team will be on St Ann's Square with the ‘Your Heart Matters’ bus. We will be offering advice to the people of Manchester about heart valve disease and a free heart rhythm check using a stethoscope (cardiac auscultation) that detects heart valve disease.

The team from Greater Manchester Cardiac Network will include consultants, senior trainees, physiologists and specialist nurses who all care for patients with heart valve disease, as well as Heart Valve Voice patient advocates. On the day, anyone diagnosed with a heart murmur or irregular pulse will be given a letter to share with their GP for further investigations.

Heart Valve Voice CEO Wil Woan said: “We are looking forward to providing education to the people of Manchester and hope to raise awareness that a simple stethoscope check could identify important heart disease. On the day, trained cardiologists will be on hand to perform cardiac auscultation and give immediate feedback to members of the public, which could save lives.”

Heart valve disease affects 1.5million people in the UK and can be fatal if untreated. Most serious heart valve disorders can be detected by listening to the heart with a stethoscope. A trained health professional can detect a ‘heart murmur’- an abnormal heart sound - by listening to the heart, which may indicate a heart valve problem. A recent study found approximately 300,000 people in the UK living with severe aortic stenosis. If left untreated, 50% of patients with severe aortic stenosis will die within two years.

Heart valve disease in the UK is often undetected because heart auscultation (listening to the heart) is performed less frequently than elsewhere. This has been compounded by the impact of COVID-19 with fewer patients accessing face-to-face consultations and so less opportunity to detect heart valve disease with a stethoscope.

Consultant Cardiologist, Dr Dan Blackman, said: “It is a sad fact that Covid has led to a decrease in diagnosis of this common, serious, but treatable condition. This is an opportunity for the people of Manchester to talk to the team and have their heart checked by experts. I would encourage anyone over the age of 50 to come down, talk to the team and have their heart listened to. That simple stethoscope check could save their life.”