Aimed at the over 40s, this Festival of Learning event organised by The School of Health and Social Care involved a morning drop-in session at Bournemouth University’s Talbot Campus, where staff assessed the health of the blood vessels in attendees’ legs and necks, using non-invasive Doppler ultrasound. The session was created to raise awareness of peripheral artery disease.
Peripheral artery disease is a condition common in the elderly and ageing population, where fatty deposits build up in arteries and restrict blood supply to a sufferer’s leg muscles. This can result in painful aching in a person’s legs after walking. Whilst not fatal, it can lead to a higher risk of developing more serious cardiovascular diseases such as coronary heart disease and strokes so detecting issues early could prove life-saving.
The drop-in session was led by Professor Ahmed Khattab, Professor of Health and Clinical Practice and Dr Ibtisam Ali, a visiting vascular scientist from Royal Bournemouth Hospital. There was a 20-minute introduction to the subject, followed by an ultrasound testing session and guests were free to join and leave the session at any time.
Attendee, Julie reflected that:
“Professor Ahmed Khattab gave a highly informative and interesting talk about peripheral artery disease to an audience of around 40 people.
Exercise, diet, stopping smoking and controlling conditions such as diabetes are more effective at improving the symptoms of peripheral artery disease than surgery and are obviously far less dangerous.
“Dr Ibtisam Ali, a vascular scientist from Royal Bournemouth Hospital, then provided members of the audience with free ultrasound testing of the arteries in their legs and neck. These tests are normally only available from the NHS with a GP’s referral or at cost from a private clinic, so these tests may prove invaluable to people who may have found it difficult physically or financially to access treatment elsewhere.
In summary the event provided members of the public with access to expertise and information about their health and the ability to have their health tested for free.”
You can read more about peripheral artery disease on the NHS website.