The Mater Foundation Heart Appeal is an annual fundraising campaign that seeks to raise vital funds for the Mater Hospital’s Family Heart Screening Clinic. The clinic – which is celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2017 – screens families for potentially fatal inherited cardiac conditions such as Sudden Adult Death Syndrome (SADS) and Long QT Syndrome.
Since it opened, the clinic has tested over 8,000 people and in 2016 started screening children as young as 8 years of age. As inherited cardiac condition are often hidden, the Family Heart Screening Clinic uses specialised equipment to test family members who have lost a loved one to such a condition.
The cardiologists, physiologists and nurses at the clinic have this year identified the need for a new ECHO machine – which takes an ultrasound of the heart – and Holter Monitors – which monitor heart activity over a set period of time. These are necessities, especially now that the clinic is screening children, as they provide much better imaging and testing capabilities.