1. ITV Report

Men over 65 urged to get checked for aortic aneurysm

A singer from Doncaster who nearly died on stage because of an undiagnosed medical condition is urging more men to be checked for the life-threatening problem.

George Kilpatrick collapsed when a major blood vessel burst. Now he is helping launch a new screening programme which he hopes will help other people going through the same ordeal as him. In February he had just stepped out on stage when he realised something was wrong, with his wife Helen in the audience:

An undetected aneurysm in one of his biggest blood vessels had burst, the aorta that links the heart with other organs. An aneurysm happens when the vessel walls weaken causing it to expand, putting it in danger of rupture.

An aneurysm within the aorta Credit: ITV Calendar

Screening sessions could have prevented George's aorta from bursting. A new programme of such sessions has just been launched nationally where over 65s are called up for a 10 minute ultra-sound style scan. They are given the result instantly:

The clinicians performing the scans can see a live image of the patient's aorta on their screen. Dotted lines allow them to measure the size of the blood vessel to see if there is cause for concern.

A scan showing an aorta with an aneurysm

Anyone whose aorta is too big is referred for surgery to correct it. The surgeon leading the screening programme in South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw is Ray Cuschieri:

The NHS now hopes more people hear George's story and get checked. More details are available on the NHS Screening website.

Watch James Webster's full report about the new screening programme below: