New tests will be implemented on children as young as eight
Doctors say a new screening programme for Sudden Adult Death Syndrome will simplify the process of detecting the disease.
From this month family members as young as eight will be screened through the one programme at the Mater Hospital in Dublin.
So far 1,100 families have been screened - but now the system will allow doctors to look at results from adults and children together.
The Mater Foundation's annual heart appeal aims to raise €300,000 so they can continue to offer screening this month.
Sudden Adult Death Syndrome is the sudden cardiac death of a fit and healthy young person. Usually the person has no symptoms prior to their collapse, and according to reports, most SADS cases occur when the person is doing something active, like sports training or running.
Pediatric Cardiologist Dr Terry Prendiville says it's a significant step: