Saving lives through ultrasound screening

Lives are saved every year in Scotland as a result of a major screening programmeusing advanced ultrasound imaging. CSJ provides an insight into the technology that is ensuring early detection of abdominal aortic aneurysms

Mindray is working with NHS Scotland to help save the lives of men at risk of abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA), through intelligent ultrasound screening technology. The aim of the AAA screening programme is to find aneurysms (bulges in blood vessels) early, and to monitor or treat them. As the wall of the aorta stretches, it becomes weaker and can rupture. When an aneurysm ruptures, less than half of patients will reach hospital alive and, even when an operation is possible, mortality is high — in fact, the overall chance of death from rupture is as high as 85%.1

However, early detection and treatment of AAA greatly reduces the chance of rupture. In Scotland, overall uptake of the AAA screening programme is high — with 84% of men attending their appointment.2

The screening programme was implemented in Scotland in line with the advice from the UK National Screening Committee (NSC). There was a phased roll-out of the programme from June 2012, as part of a 'Four Nations approach'. NHS Highland and NHS Western Isles were the first NHS Boards to roll out the national screening programme and, by November 2013, all NHS Boards were participating.1

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