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Report from the CRY

Centre for Cardiac Pathology

The average turnaround time for referrals at the CRY Centre for Cardiac Pathology was well inside the target of 14 days, for most of the year. During July and August, the centre was slightly over target due to the continuing high number of referrals, Dr Sheppard taking annual leave and attending a number of conferences. The number of cases referred to the CRY Centre for Cardiac Pathology has been consistently high throughout 2009 with a minimum of 10 cases referred each month. More referrals were received from Scotland in 2009 than in previous years and the centre has also received referrals from hospitals where there has been no previous contact. In May 2009, the centre sent a brief information letter outlining the service provided at the Royal Brompton Hospital for a free specialist cardiac examination done within a period of 14 days to all coroners and this appears to have increased the number of cases referred. Over the whole of 2009, there were more than 150 referrals. As well as clinical work, Dr Sheppard organised several teaching events and conferences. She was invited to Christchurch Canterbury University and Imperial College London to give regular lectures to BSc students and ran sessions for Cardiac Genetic Nurses at the request of the British Heart Foundation. Dr Sheppard was also invited to speak at 6 national and 4 international meetings. Students from the CRY Centre for Cardiac Pathology, Roxanna Georgiou, Kush Patel and Keiko Ogo, have had abstracts accepted to the Pathological Society of Great Britain and Ireland 2010. During 2009, Dr Sheppard was involved in producing 8 research papers which were published in a variety of peer-reviewed journals, including: • Papadakis M, Sharma S, Cox S, Sheppard MN, Panoulas VF, Behr ER. The magnitude of sudden cardiac death in the young: a death certificate-based review in England and Wales. European Society of Cardiology. August 21st epub • Edwards CP, Yavari A, Sheppard MN, Sharma S. Anomalous coronary origin: the challenge in preventing exercise-related sudden cardiac death. Br J Sports Med 2009;000:1-3 - to be published in December 2009 • Whyte GP, Sheppard MN, George K et al. Post-mortem evidence of idiopathic left ventricular hypertrophy and idiopathic interstitial myocardial fibrosis: is exercise the cause? Br J Sports Med 2008 April; 42(4):304-5. Dr Sheppard also had 6 referred case reports published and wrote for book chapters of 3 books. She is currently writing Practical Cardiovascular Pathology (Second Edition) which is due to be published in 2010. Dr Sofia de Noronha is currently working on a grant application to the British Heart Foundation to request funding for a researcher to complete a project on normal Heart Weights. A pilot study was conducted at Woking Coroner’s Office and further data was collected from Broomsfield Hospital in Chelmsford during December 2009, with more data collection to follow.


Dr Sheppard organised several meetings during 2009 including ‘Postoperative Deaths’ at the Royal Society of Medicine in June, ‘Adult Cardiovascular Pathology’ at the National Heart and Lung Institute in October, and ‘Sudden Death - UK Experience’ at the Royal Society of Medicine in November. Sudden Death – UK Experience was aimed, not only at pathologists and cardiologists but also at coroners, geneticists, cardiac nurses and genetic councillors. CRY sponsored the meeting and Chief Executive, Alison Cox MBE, spoke about families and bereavement in sudden cardiac death. The event featured lectures by Professor John Camm, Dr Huon Gray, Dr Martin Goddard, Dr Perry Elliott, Professor Sanjay Sharma, Dr Elijah Behr and Dr Paul Brennan who are all leading members in their field of cardiology, genetics and pathology. Dr Sheppard also spoke about the national network of cardiac pathology and the new national database for sudden cardiac death which was launched in December 2009. To close the meeting there was a round table discussion on preventative strategies. Those who attended found the meeting informative and enjoyable and were more aware of sudden cardiac death, prevention, diagnoses, screening and the effects and treatment for surviving family members. Dr Sheppard invited students from two local secondary schools to attend the Royal Brompton Hospital as part of National Pathology Week. The theme for 2009 was cardiac and as a representative for the Royal College of Pathologists Dr Mary Sheppard organised an afternoon of short lectures and demonstrations to encourage those students with an interest in science and medicine to enter the fields of pathology and cardiology. Dr Sanjay Prasad gave a short presentation on cardiac imaging before the students were taken to the Echocardiography department where some willing patients allowed the students to view an echocardiogram with Dr Christine Thorp. Dr Sheppard demonstrated some animal hearts showing the differences between a normal heart and some features of abnormal hearts. Stephanie Paterson and Margy Al Chalabi attended as representatives of CRY and spoke to the students about the work that CRY does with screening and counselling of families following the sudden death of a child, sibling, partner or parent. Both have experienced sudden cardiac death first hand with the loss of a son and with help from CRY have trained as counsellors to help other people who suffer from the same loss.

CRY update • Issue 50 • 13

CRY Update Magazine - Issue 50  

CRY’s quarterly update magazine with news and information about the charity and our supporters. Registered Charity 1050845.

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