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Research study event brings together experts in aortic aneurysm

This article is more than eight years old.

Saturday 7 May 2016 saw the inaugural OxAAA Aneurysm Awareness Day event at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford.

An abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) occurs when the walls of the aorta - the main blood vessel that runs from your heart through your chest and abdomen - weaken and expand. As the wall of the aorta stretches, it becomes weaker and can rupture, causing internal bleeding.

Around 85 out of 100 people die when an aneurysm bursts. Men are six times more likely to have an aneurysm than women.

The Nuffield Department of Surgical Sciences Oxford Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Study (OxAAA) aims to improve our understanding of this condition.

Organised and hosted by the Study OxAAA team, the day was designed to help AAA patients and their families to learn more from the researchers and clinical care team in an informal environment.

Over 100 people affected by AAA enjoyed a lively and engaging morning of talks, delivered by experts covering a variety of topics: the Screening Programme Manager talked about the AAA screening process in the Thames Valley Area; Consultant Vascular Surgeons explained surgical options offered to AAA patients at the John Radcliffe Hospital - open and endovascular repair - and a Consultant Anaesthetist gave a presentation on anaesthesia for patients with complex medical histories.

There was also an update on research carried out by the OxAAA Study team, and the results of a recent patient and clinician survey which allows patients to help direct the future of AAA research.

Professor Ashok Handa (pictured), Consultant Vascular Surgeon, chaired an animated and frank Q&A session.

During the afternoon attendees were able to explore interactive clinical stations, get their blood pressure checked, learn about care on the wards and decreasing their risk of AAA, and watch demonstration ultrasound scans - from the other side of the screen! 

Many attendees felt reassured by the talks given in the morning, with 100 percent reporting that the event had increased their overall understanding of AAAs, and nearly 70 percent offering to be nominated 'champions' in their community - raising the profile of the OxAAA Study, and taking part in future events to help the OxAAA Study team direct and focus their research in areas relevant to improving the lives of patients.

For more information about the OxAAA Study please visit: 

This event was kindly sponsored by Patients Active in Research: Thames Valley.