Over 60 Tyrone footballers and hurlers were the latest to undergo the GPA’s cardiac screening initiative which is being provided to all county squads over the coming months.
As part of the GPA’s Health and Wellbeing Programme all county players are entitled to be screened and the mobile screening unit has visited 38 county squads all over the country since the initiative commenced earlier this year.
The tragic loss of Tyrone star Cormac McAnallen in 2004 thrust the issue of Sudden Cardiac Death to the fore in Irish sport and led to the provision of automated external defibrillators in many sports clubs nationwide. It also highlighted the need to promote cardiac screening for young athletes.
The GAA’s Medical and Scientific Committee subsequently carried out an extensive body of work in this area and issued a number of recommendations for the screening process. Given that up to 100 young persons (under 35 years) die each year in Ireland from Sudden Adult Death Syndrome, it also recommended that all players should be screened.
In line with the GAA’s Medical and Scientific Committee’s Cardiac Proposals, the GPA, in association with mobile cardiac screening service Heartaid, is providing the screening facilities for each squad.
The Cardiac Screening Programme is funded by the GPA and is seen as a critical welfare component of the Association’s Player Development Programme.
The Development Programme, supported by the GAA, provides a comprehensive suite of support services for inter-county GAA players in the areas of Career Development, Education, Health and Wellbeing, Life Skills and Benevolent Support.