Heart & Stroke Charity says #JustGo if you are having a Heart Attack or Stroke

Today (Monday June 15th, 2020) the Heart & Stroke Charity Croí, launches a national ‘patient-to-patient’ confidence building campaign aimed at saving lives and reducing disability by encouraging those with symptoms of heart or stroke emergency to seek medical help without delay. The #JustGo initiative reaffirms medical advice to always act quickly when it comes to symptoms of a heart attack or stroke. ‘Time is muscle’ – the longer you wait with a heart attack the more damage occurs to your heart muscle or in the case of a stroke, to your brain.

The campaign is in response to the fear of COVID-19, which is keeping almost half of people suffering from a heart attack away from hospitals, and now across the world, doctors are reporting that those who delay in seeking medical help are in a far worse condition when they finally arrive at hospital, and it’s often too late to benefit from the life-saving treatments that are normally available to them.

“It’s one of the unintended consequences of COVID-19 that people suffering heart attacks and strokes are delaying in seeking medical help, resulting in worse outcomes. Also, people living with known heart conditions who are experiencing new or worsening symptoms are delaying too long before calling their doctor or going to hospital,” says Neil Johnson, CEO, Croí.

National Clinical Societies and international organisations such as the World Heart Federation, World Stroke Organisation and the European Society of Cardiology are all united on the important message that ignoring cardiac symptoms or delaying treatment carries the risk of severe complications with long-term negative and potentially life threatening consequences.

Professor Jim Crowley, Consultant Cardiologist, Galway University Hospital and President of the Irish Cardiac Society, says, “In Ireland, there has been a large decrease in cardiac admissions to hospital (across all cardiac conditions), in some locations a decrease of as much as 80%, and there has been a significant decrease in hospital interventions both surgical and less invasive of up to 35% across hospitals. This is very worrying as we know cardiovascular disease has not gone away and the prospect of a surge of patients with advanced cardiac symptoms in the coming weeks and months as an indirect consequence of COVID-19 is concerning.”

Professor Bill McEvoy, Consultant Cardiologist, Galway University Hospital and Research & Medical Director of the National Institute for Prevention and Cardiovascular Health, confirms that he has been seeing patients who left it too late to come into hospital for treatment of a heart attack or stroke. “We have seen severe complications of heart attacks that we haven’t witnessed in decades, from back before the time since we have modern treatments for heart attack. We need to get the message out to patients, loud and clear, that our hospitals are safe and that patients without COVID-19 are being kept separate from patients admitted with COVID-19. We also need to reinforce the longstanding message to patients – act quickly if you have symptoms of a heart attack or stroke.”

Dr Joe Gallagher, ICGP Primary Care Lead for Integrated Care Programmes (Cardiovascular Disease) speaking as a GP says, “It is really important to look after your heart at this time and if you are worried about your heart health talk to your GP.  Don’t delay in going to hospital if you experience symptoms of a heart attack or stroke.”

The #JustGo campaign message is simple and clear – If you are experiencing the symptoms of a heart attack, – Don’t delay – Every minute counts. If you have chest pain or other heart attack symptoms – such as pain in the throat, neck, back, stomach or shoulders that lasts for more than 15 minutes – you must call an ambulance.

Equally, if you are living with an existing heart condition such as heart failure or heart valve disease and if you are experiencing new symptoms, or a worsening of symptoms, you should contact your doctor or go to a hospital as soon as possible. Similarly, for those diagnosed with Familial Hypercholesterolemia (FH) (a genetic condition where the cholesterol level is very high and needs medical treatment to lower it) or for those under the age of 55, having a family member living with FH or multiple family members with a history of heart disease or stroke – don’t ignore the symptoms of heart attack, act quickly.

The #JustGo Campaign hopes to reassure people that the risk of coronavirus infection in hospital has been minimised for patients being admitted with heart attacks or strokes. The campaign also reaffirms that the risk of dying from an untreated heart attack is 10 times higher than dying from COVID-19.

Croí says – If you are experiencing a heart or stroke emergency – this is NOT the time to ‘stay at home’ – when your heart says so, #JustGo

Learn more: www.croi.ie/justgo

The #JustGo Campaign is endorsed by:

The National Heart
Programme Ireland

Irish Cardiac Society
European Atherosclerosis Society

Part of a global initiative by the Global Heart Hub in collaboration with FH Europe.

Supported by:

World Heart Foundation

Men’s Health Week 2020

Men's Health

Watch our Men's Health Week 2020 videos!

Men’s Health Week 2020 - Minding our Health

Men’s Health Week 2020 - Minding our Wellbeing

International Men’s Health Week takes place from June 15 – 21, and it aims to raise awareness of preventable health problems; encourage the early detection and treatment of health conditions in men; and support men and boys to engage in healthier lifestyle choices / activities.

Men still die on average about 4 ½ years younger than women. They also have a higher incidence of death rates for virtually all of the leading causes of death, including heart disease, cancer, respiratory disease, stroke and suicide. The overall theme for 2020 is ‘restoring the balance’ as we start to emerge from the limitations of COVID-19. During the week, we are encouraging men to do something positive to restore the balance in their lives.

Pictured on Barna Pier ahead of Men's Health Week 2020: Paul Gillen, Health Promotion Officer, HSE; Pádraig Ó Céidigh, Former Senator; and Patricia Hall, Croí Cardiovascular Nurse Specialist. Photo credit: Boyd Challenger.

Men’s Health Week 2020 – Be Part Of The Solution

Pictured: Tommy Marren, Midwest Radio with Laurence Gaughan, HSE Health and Wellbeing supporting Men’s Health Week in 2020 in Mayo.

HSE Health Promotion and Improvement has funded the Men’s Health Forum in Ireland (MHFI) to coordinate International Men’s Health Week (MHW) 2020 in Ireland. This runs from Monday June 15th until Sunday June 21st, Father’s Day. This year the theme is: ‘Restoring the Balance, Be part of the solution’. 2020 has been an exceptional year in many ways.  All aspects of life in Ireland continue to be shaped by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.  It has had a major impact on men’s health.

Individuals across Ireland are trying to re-build their physical health, emotional resilience, relationships, jobs, finances, connections and routines  and everyone is asked to be part of the solution and do something realistic and practical, no matter how small, to help restore some balance and stability to all our lives.

This annual week aims to raise awareness of preventable health problems; encourage the early detection and treatment of health conditions in men; and support men and boys to engage in healthier lifestyle choices / activities. Men still die on average about 4½ years younger than women. They also have a higher incidence of death rates for virtually all of the leading causes of death, including heart disease, cancer, respiratory disease, stroke and suicide.

In the West, the HSE is collaborating with Croí and many other voluntary organisations to provide information and to assist men throughout the region to be more aware of their health.  Themes that will be promoted during the week include mental health, heart health, cancer prevention, physical activity and rethinking what you drink.

Two pre-recorded virtual panel discussions focusing on healthy lifestyles, chronic disease prevention and mental health and wellbeing will be promoted. These sessions will be broadcast during men’s health week on Croí website www.croi.ie and shared across various social media platforms including Facebook and Twitter.  They will include expert advice and tips, as well as personal stories from some well-known personalities from the region.

In Mayo, Tommy Marren of Midwest Radio is supporting the week and says, “This week is an opportunity to encourage all men to lead healthy lifestyles, to be more aware of preventable health problems and to seek early detection and treatment for any health problems. This is now more important than ever due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and I urge all men to become involved in the week and access the many supports and services that will be available.”

A new free “Challenges and Choices” Man Manual is available. This covers a variety of men’s health issues including alcohol, food, physical activity, smoking, stress, blood pressure, sexually transmitted diseases, skin cancers, back care and help seeking behaviour.  This manual which was funded by the HSE is available to download or can be ordered from www.healthpromotion.ie please click on search publications under men’s health.  It is also available on www.mhfi.org.

Men’s Health Week 2020 – Be Part of the solution

Pictured on Barna Pier ahead of Men's Health Week 2020: Paul Gillen, Health Promotion Officer, HSE; Pádraig Ó Céidigh, Former Senator; and Patricia Hall, Croí Cardiovascular Nurse Specialist. Photo credit: Boyd Challenger.
Pictured on Barna Pier ahead of Men's Health Week 2020: Paul Gillen, Health Promotion Officer, HSE; Pádraig Ó Céidigh, Former Senator; and Patricia Hall, Croí Cardiovascular Nurse Specialist. Photo credit: Boyd Challenger.
Pictured: Tommy Marren, Midwest Radio with Laurence Gaughan, HSE Health and Wellbeing supporting Men’s Health Week in 2020 in Mayo

HSE Health Promotion and Improvement has funded the Men’s Health Forum in Ireland (MHFI) to coordinate International Men’s Health Week (MHW) 2020 in Ireland. This runs from Monday June 15th until Sunday June 21st, Father’s Day. This year the theme is: ‘Restoring the Balance, Be part of the solution’. 2020 has been an exceptional year in many ways.  All aspects of life in Ireland continue to be shaped by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.  It has had a major impact on men’s health.

Individuals across Ireland are trying to re-build their physical health, emotional resilience, relationships, jobs, finances, connections and routines  and everyone is asked to be part of the solution and do something realistic and practical, no matter how small, to help restore some balance and stability to all our lives.

This annual week aims to raise awareness of preventable health problems; encourage the early detection and treatment of health conditions in men; and support men and boys to engage in healthier lifestyle choices / activities. Men still die on average about 4½ years younger than women. They also have a higher incidence of death rates for virtually all of the leading causes of death, including heart disease, cancer, respiratory disease, stroke and suicide.

In the West, the HSE is collaborating with Croí and many other voluntary organisations to provide information and to assist men throughout the region to be more aware of their health.  Themes that will be promoted during the week include mental health, heart health, cancer prevention, physical activity and rethinking what you drink.

Two pre-recorded virtual panel discussions focusing on healthy lifestyles, chronic disease prevention and mental health and wellbeing will be promoted. These sessions will be broadcast during men’s health week on Croí website www.croi.ie and shared across various social media platforms including Facebook and Twitter.  They will include expert advice and tips, as well as personal stories from some well-known personalities from the region.

In Mayo, Tommy Marren of Midwest Radio is supporting the week and says, “This week is an opportunity to encourage all men to lead healthy lifestyles, to be more aware of preventable health problems and to seek early detection and treatment for any health problems. This is now more important than ever due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and I urge all men to become involved in the week and access the many supports and services that will be available.”

A new free “Challenges and Choices” Man Manual is available. This covers a variety of men’s health issues including alcohol, food, physical activity, smoking, stress, blood pressure, sexually transmitted diseases, skin cancers, back care and help seeking behaviour.  This manual which was funded by the HSE is available to download or can be ordered from www.healthpromotion.ie please click on search publications under men’s health.  It is also available on www.mhfi.org.

Discover the beauty of the West Coast with Croí’s Couch to Wild Atlantic Way!

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Pictured at the launch of Croí’s Couch to Wild Atlantic Way (Supported by Laya Healthcare) is Cillian Morris, Business Development Manager, Laya; Kevin O’Reilly, Chairman, Croí; and Christine Flanagan, Director of Fundraising, Croí.

Croí, the Heart and Stroke Charity, has launched a new virtual challenge along the Wild Atlantic Way, encouraging people to get moving and raise funds to help support people living with heart disease and stroke.

Croí’s Couch to Wild Atlantic Way takes runners, walkers and joggers on a virtual journey down counties along the west coast, from Donegal to Clare. Participants can log their daily kilometres and reach stunning discovery points along the way on an interactive map, including Malin Head, Achill Island, Cliffs of Moher and Loop Head Lighthouse. The challenge is proudly supported by laya healthcare.

“We are so excited to launch this stunning challenge. Exercise has been restricted to within a 5km radius for now, but this new challenge opens up our walks and runs virtually to the wild west coast! Our coastal challenges offer routes to suit all abilities over the six weeks – from the Coast of Clare at 6,000 steps a day, to a more challenging route with the Coast of Mayo at 16,500 steps a day,” says Christine Flanagan, Director of Fundraising at Croí.

“I am delighted to take part in this virtual challenge in aid of Croí. It’s a great way to keep up the activity levels, while supporting vital services for people living with heart disease and stroke. I will be taking on the Galway coastal challenge and look forward to reaching the great discovery points along the way,” says Kevin O’Reilly, Chairman, Croí Board of Directors.

Cillian Morris, Business Development Manager at laya healthcare, added, “As Croí’s Health & Wellbeing partner, we’re very proud to support the charity in continuing to promote the importance of heart health in a virtual world. The ‘Couch to Wild Atlantic Way’ is such an inspired idea, we hope record numbers get involved to raise much-needed funds for this worthy charity. Our healthcoach team are on hand to create personalised fitness and nutrition plans for members who want to prepare to take on the tougher challenges along the route. I’m going to give the Donegal Coast challenge a go, it’ll be good training for when I can get back up there in person!”

Funds raised will support heart and stroke services, including Croí’s new helpline, Heartlink West. The challenges facing people living with heart disease and stroke are now greater than any that have come before, and the Croí health team is experiencing increased demand for support services. This event will help Croí to continue to respond to the needs of the community during this difficult time, when people living with heart disease or stroke are at greater risk if affected by COVID-19.

The virtual challenge runs for six weeks, launching June 10th. Registration costs €15 each or €40 for families, with everyone receiving a special eco-friendly Croí Couch to Wild Atlantic Way medal! Discover the beauty of Ireland’s West Coast by taking part in Croí’s Couch to Wild Atlantic Way. Register now at www.croi.ie/WildAtlanticWay.