New Orleans, LA (July 31, 2017) – More than 1,000 military veterans participated in the largest free screening event for “abdominal aortic aneurysms” in the U.S.
Held in conjunction with the 118th national convention of Veterans of Foreign Wars in New Orleans, the free screening provided by AAAneurysm Outreach resulted in 16 aneurysms being discovered requiring medical attention.
“Up to 90 percent of patients with abdominal aneurysms will die in less than an hour if the artery ruptures,” said vascular surgeon Dr. Claudie Sheahan of LSU Healthcare Network.
The non-invasive ultrasound screening is a quick and easy way to find aneurysms and save lives. The painless abdominal ultrasound test is simple and takes less than 5 minutes for the results.
“We are deeply grateful to those who have served our nation, and are privileged to provide this risk awareness education and lifesaving screening,” said Don Lanman, Army veteran and board member of AAAneurysm Outreach.
“Most people have no idea about the dangers of this silent killer, and we’re able to provide this lifesaving screening to our vets, thanks to our local professional medical partners and national supporters.” Lanman said.
New Orleans-based non-profit AAAneurysm Outreach coordinated this first-ever mass screening event in partnership with sponsors W. L. Gore Inc., Society for Vascular Surgery Foundation, Philips medical equipment company, the VFW, and the professional medical services of LSU Healthcare Network physicians and staff. Support was also provided by Delgado Community College, University of New Orleans, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Rouses Market, Community Coffee, Humana and others.
The 1,003 screened attendees came from VFW posts across the U.S. and beyond, and ranged in age from 45 to 90. During this first-ever four-day mass screening event, the vets were assessed for risk and educated on the risk factors including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, hardening of the arteries, history of smoking, or family history of aneurysms.
The third-leading cause of sudden death in men over 60 in the US, an abdominal aortic aneurysm (bursting of the main artery that carries blood to the lower part of the body) is fatal within minutes, and there are no symptoms.
It’s estimated that more than 1 million people are living with an undiagnosed abdominal aortic aneurysm, which was a contributing factor in the recent deaths of actors Bill Paxton, Alan Thicke, and Tommy Ford.
AAA screening is recommended every five years for all those over age 60 or with risk factors. Detected early, an AAA can be treated with a variety of effective procedures.