Don’t delay in addressing stroke or heart attack symptoms amid Covid-19 outbreak


The Irish Heart Foundation is concerned that some people with symptoms of heart attack and stroke are not presenting at a hospital in time due to concerns about Covid-19 and not wanting to put additional burden on the health system.

The organisation has realised that in recent weeks there has been a reduction in the number of people presenting with these symptoms. The Irish Heart Foundation has also heard of cases of stroke patients being admitted too late for effective treatment because they were reluctant to go to the hospital.

Accepting that it is completely understandable that people are concerned about Covid-19 right now and don’t want to burden the healthcare system, the organisation is highlighting that people are risking their lives if they ignore symptoms.

Dr Angie Brown, Consultant Cardiologist and Medical Director with the IHF has appealed to anyone experiencing symptoms of a stroke or heart attack to follow the normal protocol and call an ambulance without delay.

Follow the Irish Heart Foundation’s advice and Act F.A.S.T.

Time is of the essence in treating stroke – the earlier a person is in hospital, the better their chances are of surviving and avoiding lifelong disability. By acting F.A.S.T. you can increase a stroke survivor’s chances of being able to return to their normal life.

The F.A.S.T. acronym was created to help people remember the main warning signs of stroke and get them to act immediately by calling 112 or 999.

F.A.S.T. stands for:

  • Face: Has their face fallen on one side. Can they smile?
  • Arms: Can they raise both their arms and keep them there?
  • Speech: Is their speech slurred?
  • Time: Time to call 112 or 999 if you see any single one of these signs.

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