Martin Johnson helped to put sudden heart deaths in young people on the agenda by opening the SADS Conference 2017.
Martin welcomed representatives working in sports, hospitals and the wider community as they attended the fourth SADS Awareness Conference, held at the King Power Stadium in Leicester on 2 March.
SADS, which stands for sudden arrhythmic death syndrome is part of a group of subtle heart diseases that claim the lives of 12 teenagers and young adults aged 12-35 every week in the UK.
The conference attracted expert speakers from across the country. It addressed questions such as how do we get more defibrillators and CPR training into our communities? And how can we ensure more victims of cardiac arrest survive because a member of the public took action? How do we spot the warning signs of these conditions?
The conference was organised by local charity the Joe Humphries Memorial Trust (JHMT) in conjunction with the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust.
Dr Ffion Davies, JHMT medical lead and consultant in A&E at Leicester’s Hospitals, said: “I want to see more people diagnosed before they have a cardiac arrest. If someone does suffer a cardiac arrest, I’d like to see them arriving at A&E sitting up and talking because they’ve already received the right help – that is, access to a defibrillator and someone who has learned CPR and saved their life.”
Former England rugby captain and patron of the JHMT, Martin Johnson, added: “The JHMT’s work to raise awareness of sudden heart deaths is vitally important – not just among the general public, but also among medical staff.
“This conference is a chance for professionals to come together and discuss how, by working with the JHMT, they can put Leicestershire at the forefront of awareness, research and action when it comes to sudden heart deaths. We want to make an impact, make a difference – and events like this one are an essential part of our plan.”
For more information on the Joe Humphries Memorial Trust, visit www.jhmt.org.uk