Coroner calls for heart screening for children

A coroner has called for a national screening programme for heart defects after a 15 year old boy from Worcestershire died after collapsing during a school rugby match. Luke Chapman suffered a cardiac arrest brought on by an irregular heartbeat in March.

Luke Chapman died during school rugby match Credit: ITV Central

An inquest heard Ryan died from Sudden Adult Death Arrhythmia (SADS). An expert said the condition kills up to 800 people under 35 each year.

The coroner recorded a verdict of death by natural causes, Birmingham Deputy Coroner Sarah Ormond-Walshe said: "This is a very tragic death of a 15-year-old, very fit young man, who enjoyed playing rugby.

She said she would write to the Department of Health urging that the launch of a national heart screening programme should be considered.

Luke's dad Matthew Chapman, 47, said after the hearing: "I hope that the Department of Health will take account of the coroner's recommendation and of the need to raise awareness of Sudden Adult Death Syndrome."

Luke was was a pupil at Haybridge High, Hagley, and died during a school rugby game at Kidderminster's Baxter College.