Act F.A.S.T. during the coronavirus outbreak - Irish Heart Foundation

Heart and stroke presentations in Irish hospitals have fallen in recent weeks due to public concerns

The Irish Heart Foundation has today (Thursday 26 March 2020) expressed concern that people experiencing symptoms of heart disease and stroke are not presenting at hospital due to concerns about the coronavirus and not wanting to burden the healthcare system.

Speaking today, Dr Angie Brown, Consultant Cardiologist and Medical Director, Irish Heart Foundation, said, “Since the beginning of this outbreak we have been in constant communication with healthcare professionals in cardiac and stroke services around the country. In recent weeks there has been a marked reduction in heart disease and stroke presentations in Ireland, which we suspect is related to the coronavirus outbreak. We have also heard of cases recently of stroke patients being admitted too late for effective treatment because they were reluctant to go to hospital.

“It’s completely understandable that people are concerned about the coronavirus right now and don’t want to burden the healthcare system, but the unfortunate reality is that people are risking their lives if they ignore symptoms because of these concerns. Our healthcare professionals in cardiac and stroke services are working hard to ensure urgent care is still being delivered across the country. Anyone experiencing symptoms of a stroke or heart attack should follow the normal protocol and call an ambulance without delay.”