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'Silent at Heart' was an innovative arts and biomedicine project about Sudden Cardiac Death in the young.

It highlighted the fact that people with family history of sudden cardiac death at a young age (younger than 35) and those experiencing specific symptoms should be encouraged to seek further cardiac assessment.

SCD are rare, fatal and mostly inherited heart conditions that mainly affect healthy and active young people. The good news is that these conditions are both preventable and treatable if identified early. However, the statistics are shocking: between 8-11 young people die each week in the UK as a result of these undetected "silent killer" conditions.
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Through active collaborations with professional artists and health professionals, a group of young people (Art, Design and Media Year 12 students) were tested for SCD. They then went to produce a truly breathtaking set of artworks and films focusing especially on their personal response to the diagnosis process and the impacts such tragedies bring.

As part of an on-going awareness campaign about SCD, the artworks and films developed through the Silent at Heart Project have been exhibited in different settings ranging from a high profile art gallery (The Air Gallery, London – September 2007), local festivals (Lewisham’s People’s Day – July 2008 and ELEFEST – Summer 2008) and health care environments (Waldron Centre, New Cross – Summer 2008). The films produced have also been webcast in ITV Local London’s website in 2007.

The project was developed by the South East London Cardiac and Stroke Network ( through an award granted by the
Wellcome Trust. It was carried out in association with the charity Cardiac Risk in the Young, Lewisham Primary Care Trust, and Christ the King Sixth Form College, Lewisham.

Due to its innovative and affective approach, 'Silent at Heart' won three awards at the Cardiac Nursing Awards 2008:
• Innovation in Arrhythmia Care - 1st place
• Excellence in Primary or Secondary Prevention - 2nd place
• Innovation through Service Development - 3rd place (joint)

Further promotion of the project’s approach and development, was achieved especially amongst clinicians and primary care professionals through an article published by the Project Manager and Arts Lead Mauricio Lomba and Sara Nelson, Associate Director SELCSN in the British Journal of Cardiac Nursing (BJCN) in September 2007 (1). On the Journal’s following issue a letter addressed to the Journal’s editor written by a local Practice Nurse who attended the gallery exhibition was published explaining how impressed she was with the standard of the “hardhitting” artwork on show and congratulating the project for having “provided an example of an innovative awareness campaign” (2).

The project has also been featured in the following publications:
EP Lab Digest Journal (USA), August 2008 Issue.
• CREATED Magazine, Lewisham Education Arts Network, Summer 2008
• People Magazine, Lewisham Primary Care Trust, Issue 2, Winter 2008

(1) Lomba, M and Nelson, S, British Journal of Cardiac Nursing, September 2007, Vol 2 No 9.
(2) Rebecca Cosgrave, Letter to the Editor, British Journal of Cardiac Nursing, October 2007, Vol 2 No 10.