SOURCE: AAAneurysm Outreach

AAAneurysm Outreach

July 31, 2012 08:00 ET

Aneurysm Outreach and Find the AAAnswers Join Forces

National Non-Profit AAAneurysm Outreach Helps Save Lives From Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA); Kicks Off Free Screening Tour This Summer

NEW ORLEANS, LA--(Marketwire - Jul 31, 2012) - Aligning like-minded groups to reach more people, Aneurysm Outreach, Inc. and Find the AAAnswers announced today the formation of AAAneurysm Outreach, a new national non-profit organization aimed at raising awareness of abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA, pronounced "Triple A") and driving at-risk individuals to get screened. By working together, the new organization will allow for increased programming and diversified funding to educate more people across the country about AAA, a potentially life-threatening condition caused by a blood-filled bulge of a weakened area of the abdominal aorta. Prior to joining forces to create AAAneursym Outreach, Find the AAAnswers was a Medtronic-sponsored public education campaign, and Aneurysm Outreach Inc. was a regional non-profit organization based in Louisiana. Together, these groups will further their shared missions of saving lives from AAA on a national level through AAAneursym Outreach.

Today, it's estimated that more than one million Americans are living with AAA and don't even know it; that's because AAAs typically present with no symptoms1. Only 10-25 percent of people will survive if their aneurysm ruptures2. The good news is that with a simple ultrasound screening, AAA can be found early and effectively managed. The risk for AAA increases for individuals that are age 60+, have a history of smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol or a family history of the disease.

To help improve screening among at-risk populations, AAAneurysm Outreach will hit the road this summer to host free screening events in local communities with high AAA prevalence. The free AAA screening tour started in 2010, and spans the U.S. for four months in an effort to detect this silent but deadly vascular condition.

"My father isn't here today because of AAA and I am passionate about increasing public awareness for this condition. As an organization, we're very fortunate to be in a position to extend our reach nationally, while empowering individuals and healthcare professionals across the country to take action against this silent killer," said Sheila Arrington, interim director of AAAneurysm Outreach and passionate AAA advocate.

The newly-formed AAAneurysm Outreach will include the following program components:

  • Free screening services in local communities with high prevalence of AAA. To learn if there is a free screening event near you, visit www.AneurysmOutreach.org, or call 866-371-3592. Registration is required for all events and space is limited to high-risk individuals.

  • An interactive Web portal where individuals can learn about AAA, assess their risk, find a local doctor, and pledge to tell a loved one about AAA.

  • An online support network for individuals impacted by or at-risk for AAA, via Facebook, Twitter and YouTube channels.

  • Fundraising events to support awareness and educational programs. The annual "Louisiana Saturday Night" fundraiser will be held on Saturday, August 11th in Baton Rouge -- featuring celebrity guests, a silent auction, and dinner and dancing. To purchase tickets, or to offer tax-deductible sponsorship support, visit: www.AneurysmOutreach.org.

Screening for AAA is quick and non-invasive, involving a simple ultrasound of the abdomen, similar to a pregnancy ultrasound. During the screening tour this summer, pre-registered individuals at high risk for AAA will be screened by a vascular technologist in a private exam room on a 40-foot bus. Local board-certified vascular surgeons will volunteer on-site to answer questions and distribute educational materials about AAA disease. The free AAA screening tour is sponsored by Medtronic, Inc.

"As a healthcare professional, I am proud to be involved in this effort to increase public awareness about AAA," said Dr. Ken Tillman, AAAneurysm Outreach chairman elect and assistant professor of Southeastern Louisiana University School of Nursing. "We hope that evidence-based disease prevention programs will further help to combat this potentially life-threatening disease and, importantly, save lives."

About AAAneurysm Outreach
AAAneurysm Outreach is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness of abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA, pronounced "Triple A") and driving at-risk individuals to get screened. Inspired by AAA advocate Sheila Arrington, who lost her father to a ruptured AAA and has a strong family history herself, the goals of the organization are to raise public awareness about AAA, provide free preventive screening services to at-risk populations, and create a support network for individuals and families impacted by or at-risk for AAA.

AAAneurysm Outreach meets its operational and program funding needs through the support of multiple donors, including corporate sponsors. The free AAA screening tour is made possible by Medtronic, Inc. For more information, visit www.AneurysmOutreach.org

1 Society for Vascular Surgery. Protect Yourself From An AAA Rupture. http://www.vascularweb.org/practiceresources/Documents/BrandingPDFs/newsletter_story_aaa.doc. Accessed on September 8, 2010.

2 Earnst, CB Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm. N Engl J Med.1993;328:1167-72.

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