University Hospital Galway Raise the Flag on Heart Failure this May

Pictured from left: Annette Irving, Irish Heart Failure Alliance; Dr. John Barton, Heart Failure Consultant, GUH; Mary O’Sullivan, Heart Failure Clinical Nurse Specialist, GUH; Geraldine Murray, Director of Nursing, GUH; Emer Burke, Clinical Nurse Specialist, GUH; Liam Martin, Irish Heart Failure Alliance.

Croí, the Heart & Stroke Charity visited University Hospital Galway with the Heart Failure Patient Alliance on May 10th to mark the launch of #RaisetheFlag, a campaign to raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of heart failure. For those experiencing symptoms, we encourage them to visit their GP and ask the question “Could I have heart failure?” For more information, please visit www.globalhearthub.org/raisetheflag

Local Medtech Company Announces Community Partnership

Pictured from left: Teresa Murray, HR Manager, Surmodics; Tom Greaney, COO, Surmodics; Kevin O’Reilly, Chairman, Croí; Gary Maharaj, CEO, Surmodics; Teri Sides, Senior VP & Chief Marketing Officer, Surmodics; and Patricia Hall, Cardiovascular Nurse Specialist, Croí. Pic Gerry Stronge.


Ballinasloe based leading medical devices company Surmodics have just announced a unique community partnership with local heart and stroke charity, Croí. Commencing this year and continuing for the next five years, Surmodics have committed a significant financial contribution to Croí by way of support for Croí’s out-of-hospital stroke support programme.

Stroke is a leading cause of death and disability worldwide. In Ireland, an estimated 10,000 people have a stroke-related event every year with as many as 7,000 per year requiring hospitalisation. There are an estimated 30,000 people living in the community with disability as a result of stroke, making it the biggest cause of acquired disability in Ireland.

Since opening its centre five years ago in Newcastle Galway, Croí has broadened its mission to include stroke. Over the past few years Croí has been developing out-of-hospital supports for stroke survivors and their carers. Tom Greaney, Chief Operating Officer at Surmodics, commented:

“We look forward to working closely with Croí to help build their out-of-hospital stroke support programme. This partnership is a fantastic opportunity for Surmodics to support Croí’s mission to prevent disease, save lives and promote wellbeing, a mission that Surmodics as an organisation also shares. We are proud to support Croí and play a part in the great work that they do for our community,” says Greaney.

Welcoming the Surmodics 5-year pledge to support Croí, Kevin O’Reilly, Chairman of Croí, said “We are indebted to Surmodics for this very generous and significant commitment. We aim to utilise this contribution by developing and expanding our stroke survivor post-hospital discharge support offerings in the area of education, carer support, risk factor management, survivor empowerment, and communications rehabilitation.

We aim to facilitate monthly community stroke support meetings in Galway and Mayo and we plan to design, develop and test an evidence based self-management and self-care programme to help stroke survivors live the best possible life they can.”


Mr O’Reilly went on to say that “In recent years, there have been significant advances made in hospital-based stroke care with many more people today surviving a stroke.

The significant needs of stroke survivors and their carers post hospital discharge however are very varied, and unfortunately at both a local and national level, community based supports are greatly in need of resources.

Stroke survivors have huge needs in term of physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy and psychological support and Croí’s efforts in this regard are in early stage development.

This generous gift from Surmodics will greatly assist our work in this regard and will make a real difference to the lives of hundreds of people impacted by stroke in our community. We are indebted to the management and staff at Surmodics for partnering with us on this important work, and it is great to see a successful local company getting involved in their local community in this way.”

Raise the Flag on Heart Failure this May

 

 

 

This May, it’s time to take action and raise the flag on the danger signs and symptoms of heart failure.

Heart failure is a specific heart condition with many causes, the most common being heart attack, heart disease, heart valve disease, high blood pressure, an irregular heart rhythm, certain infections of the heart, or heart problems you were born with. Heart failure affects over 26 million people worldwide, and is increasing in prevalence. As many as 1 in 5 people over the age of 40 will develop heart failure in their lifetime. It occurs when the heart muscle doesn’t pump blood as well as it should. Heart failure is a chronic and often complex condition which can take years to develop or it can happen quickly at times.

The earliest symptoms of heart failure are often very subtle, but it’s dangerous to ignore them. Early diagnosis of heart failure is very important so as to ensure optimal treatment, and this can significantly benefit those living with the condition. That’s why Croí, the Heart & Stroke Charity, are joining with The Global Heart Hub and over 20 organisations across 15 counties worldwide to help raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of heart failure.

On May 10th and on the following three Fridays (May 17th, May 24th and May 31st), we invite you to join us and raise a red flag on heart failure. By raising a red flag, we aim to highlight the danger signs and symptoms of heart failure. For those experiencing these symptoms, we encourage them to visit their GP and to ask the question “Could I have heart failure?”

Unfortunately, awareness of risk factors and the signs and symptoms of heart failure is very low across the world. Red flag symptoms include breathlessness, fatigue and swollen limbs. Signs of heart failure may also be associated with an underlying heart problem. Heart failure signs and symptoms may include:

  • Coughing/wheezing
  • Extreme tiredness or no energy
  • Loss of appetite
  • More frequent urination, especially at night
  • Rapid heartbeat or palpitations
  • Shortness of breath
  • Shortness of breath, even when lying down
  • Swelling in the ankles/feet/stomach
  • Weight gain over a short period of time (>2kg over 2 days)

By themselves, any one sign of heart failure may not be cause for alarm. But if you have one or more of these symptoms, even if you haven’t been diagnosed with any heart problems, you should visit your GP and ask the question “Could I have heart failure?”.

Islanders come out in force to make health a priority

A series of free Healthy Ireland health and wellbeing days were delivered across Inis Oírr, Inis Mór, Inis Meáin, and Inishbofin islands over the past month, with great attendance from Islanders and involvement from the local schools.

Over 200 people took part in the events, which included health screenings (pulse, blood pressure, weight, and BMI checks); healthy cooking tips and Q&A discussions with a Croí Dietitian and residents of the islands about changing dietary habits and impact on health; yoga; relationship and sexual health education; resources on mental health and wellness; exercise and fitness tips; citizen information advice; and more.

“This initiative was a coming together of diverse community groups all with a unified aim to promote health and well-being throughout the islands off County Galway. It was a great opportunity to raise awareness about the importance of leading a healthy lifestyle across all age groups. The good news is that many health conditions such as heart disease and stroke are preventable and our aim is to offer individuals the opportunity to engage in risk factor screening along with offering practical advice in relation to healthy eating, physical activity, overall health and wellness and lots more,” says Suzanne Seery, Lead Dietitian, Croí.

Healthy Ireland is a Government-led initiative which aims to create an Irish society where everyone can enjoy physical and mental health, and where wellbeing is valued and supported at every level of society. The series of health and wellbeing events on the Islands were supported by Galway County LCDC’s Healthy County Galway initiative. Many community and voluntary organisations were present. These included Croí, the Heart & Stroke Charity; Galway Rural Development, Healthy Ireland at your Library; Western Drugs and Alcohol Taskforce; Galway Sports Partnership; Galway Citizen Information Centre; Irish Rural Link; Pieta House; and AIDS West. The Healthy Ireland Fund is supported by the Department of Health, the Department of Children and Youth Affairs and the Department of Rural and Community Development.

Pictured: Members of the Healthy Islands team, made up of 10+ community groups from across county Galway.

After Croí’s visit to Inisbofin, our Dietitian Suzanne and placement student Christine received a lovely note from the students at Inishbofin National School, and are delighted to see that they had fun learning about healthy eating!

“We learnt so much about healthy eating, and we will keep all the information you told us for the rest of our lives.” 

25 years of cycling the Corrib in aid of Croí

Pictured at the launch of the 25th Annual Tour de Lough Corrib Cycle, in aid of Croí. From left, Christine Flanagan, Croí Fundraising Director; Paddy Keating, long-time Croí Cycle participant; Mary Cullinane, Corrib Oil; and Bernard Dempsey, Corrib Oil. Image credit: Johnny Ryan Photography.

It’s time to dust off your bike saddle and get in gear as registration is now open for the 25th Annual Tour de Lough Corrib cycle, in aid of Croí, the Heart & Stroke Charity. The Croí charity cycle takes place on Sunday, June 9th, 2019 around Lough Corrib, in association with long-time sponsor Corrib Oil, the cycle’s main sponsor for 25 years running!

This is the biggest charity cycle in the West of Ireland, and promises to be even bigger and better this year to celebrate 25 years!

All abilities are welcome – cyclists will have a choice of a 45km, 80km or a 120km route. The cycle starts from the sports pavilion in Dangan and will take the route via Headford, Cong, Maam Valley, Oughterard, back to Galway, finishing at Croí House. Roadside assistance, support vehicles and plenty of refreshment stops will be provided on the day, along with a post-cycle celebration event in Croí House. Enter as an individual cyclist or get a team together, with group photographs happening at Croí House after the event.

“It’s incredible that this year we are celebrating the 25th cycle, and we have so many long-time cyclists that have been with us from the beginning,” says Christine Flanagan, Croí Fundraising Director. “It’s a fun cycle along a great route, and all abilities are welcome to join us. Every euro raised helps our team to continue our work here at Croí, leading the fight against heart disease and stroke in the West of Ireland.”

Registration is free and essential at www.croi.ie/cycle, and cyclists are asked to fundraise for Croí. All cyclists will receive a technical t-shirt. Cyclists that reach a fundraising goal of €150+ will receive a specially designed 25th anniversary cycle jersey and entered into a raffle to win a fantastic bike package to the value of €1,000! Take part in this special 25th anniversary event and help Croí lead the fight against heart disease and stroke.

Learn more at www.croi.ie/cycle or call Croí on 091-544310 to register now.

Wife saved husband’s life thanks to Croí CPR training

April 19, 2019 – Repost from The Galway Advertiser. Written by Mary O’Connor

A family carer who completed a training course in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR ) saved her husband’s life a month later when he suffered a major heart attack at their home in Galway.

The woman contacted the organisers of the Heartsaver CPR AED training initiative for family carers after the event to thank them for providing her with the necessary lifesaving skills.

She stated that her husband had been discharged from hospital after having experienced a STEMI, a very serious type of heart attack during which one of the heart’s major arteries, that supplies oxygen and nutrient-rich blood to the heart muscle, is blocked. This requires immediate medical attention.

The carer said that if she had not attended the course she would have disregarded his symptoms, probably passing them off as indigestion, and would have gone back to sleep. This according to her husband’s consultant would have had fatal consequences for her spouse.

Outlining the story, Michelle Harrison, the project lead and the co-ordinator of the carers’ department of Community Healthcare West, said she knows from feedback she has received from participants on the CPR AED training course, which is funded by the HSE Carers Department and delivered in partnership with the local heart and stroke charity Croí, that it has saved lives.

The training course, which is open to family carers, is being delivered in Galway since 2011 and was the overall winner in the Innovative Project Category at the inaugural HSE Community Healthcare West Staff Recognition Awards. The local health authority is the only HSE area providing this life-saving training to family carers in Ireland.

The courses are designed to teach family carers about CPR and the relief of foreign-body airway obstruction in adults, children and infants, together with the use of automated external defibrillation (AED ). These are lightweight, portable devices which deliver an electric shock through the chest to the heart which can potentially stop an irregular heart beat (arrhythmia ) and allow a normal rhythm to resume following sudden cardiac arres.

Successful participants receive a certificate in adult, child and infant CPR and AED, with management of choking, which is certified by the American Heart Association.

Ms Harrison said that when a person collapses with sudden cardiac arrest, every second is vital. “Performing CPR and using a defibrillator can mean the difference between life and death in many cases. For every minute a person is collapsed without receiving CPR or defibrillation, the person’s chance of survival is reduced by up to 10 per cent per minute. After five minutes, the person’s chance of survival is reduced by up to 50 per cent.

“The Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest register in Ireland found that two-thirds of all out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occurred at home in Ireland in 2017 and three-quarters of incidents occurred in a private setting (ie, home, farm, or residential institution ). Research has shown that CPR and AED can double or triple a victim’s chance of survival and that people who have completed a CPR AED course are 10 times more likely to respond in such an emergency.”

She outlined that the role of lay persons in the internationally recognised chain of survival is well acknowledged, and includes, early recognition, immediate effective CPR, and rapid defibrillation.

“It takes a whole system to save a life, and this training initiative spearheaded by the HSE Carers Department and Croí, is integral to ensuring that family carers are key contributors to this whole system approach to save a life. In the past seven year period, we have delivered a total of 90 certified courses to nearly 1,000 family carers in Galway.”

The HSE Carers Department, Community Healthcare West is currently accepting applications from family carers in Galway for this training. Further Heartsaver CPR AED courses will be delivered this year free to family carers in partnership with Croí. To find out more or to request an application form contact the HSE Carers Department at (091 ) 546133.

Croí CPR training saves lives!

Contact us now to learn more about our CPR training programme at info@croi.ie.

Free public talk in Galway: The Key to Healthy Ageing

As part of Croí’s Third Age Programme, which aims to reduce the impact of age-related heart and stroke conditions, we are delighted to invite you to a free public talk:

Listen to your heart…
The Key to Healthy Ageing

Date: Wednesday, April 10th , 2019
Time: 7:30pm
Location: Croí Heart and Stroke Centre, Moyola Lane

Guest speakers on the night include:

  • Dr. Faisal Sharif – High blood pressure
  • Dr. Aidan Flynn – Atrial fibrillation & heart failure
  • Mr. Alan Soo – Heart valve disease

Join us to learn how to keep your heart healthy as you age.

Places are limited, so reserve your place now:

Phone: Call Croí on 091-544310.
Online: Go to www.croi.ie/galwaytalk to register online and reserve your place.

Free public talk in Castlebar: The Key to Healthy Ageing

As part of Croí’s Third Age Programme, which aims to reduce the impact of age-related heart and stroke conditions, we are delighted to invite you to a free public talk:

Listen to your heart…
The Key to Healthy Ageing

Date: Wednesday, April 3rd , 2019
Time: 7:30pm
Location: TF Royal Hotel, Castlebar

Guest speakers on the night include:

  • Tom O’Malley, Consultant Physician, Mayo University Hospital, Castlebar, who will speak on atrial fibrillation and stroke prevention;
  • Faisal Sharif, Consultant Cardiologist, Galway University Hospital, who will speak on control and management of high blood pressure; and
  • Darren Mylotte, Consultant Cardiologist, Galway University Hospital, who will speak on heart valve disease and its treatment.

Join us to learn how to keep your heart healthy as you age.

Places are limited, so reserve your place now:

Phone: Call Croí on 091-544310.
Online: Go to www.croi.ie/castlebartalk to register online and reserve your place.

 

34th Annual Croí Ball

 

Pictured at the launch of the 34th Annual Croí Ball, (from left): Brian Kenny, Kenny Galway (Presenting Sponsor); Neil Johnson, Chief Executive, Croí; Damien Kenny, Kenny Galway (Volvo); and Christine Flanagan, Fundraising Director, Croí.

The 34th Annual Croí Ball will take place on Friday, March 22 at The Galmont Hotel, Galway. This year’s event will be a night of laughter and entertainment, with a special performance by one of Ireland’s top actors and comedians (it’s a surprise!). Highlights on the night include a gin reception, four-course dinner and late-night entertainment by Electric Picnic favourite and 90’s tribute band, Smash Hits!

Partners join together for a one-of-a-kind free event, promoting Healthy Islands

Healthy Ireland is coming to the Islands! A series of free health and wellbeing days will be delivered across the islands, visiting Inis Oírr on February 27th, Inis Mór on March 6th, Inis Meáin on March 7th, and Inishbofin on March 20th.

Healthy Ireland is a Government-led initiative which aims to create an Irish society where everyone can enjoy physical and mental health, and where wellbeing is valued and supported at every level of society. This series of health and wellbeing events on the Islands is supported by Galway County LCDC’s Healthy County Galway initiative. Many community and voluntary organisations will be present. These include Croí, the Heart & Stroke Charity; Galway Rural Development, Healthy Ireland at your Library; Western Drugs and Alcohol Taskforce; Galway Sports Partnership; Galway Citizen Information Centre; Irish Rural Link; Pieta House; and AIDS West.

“This initiative is a coming together of diverse community groups all with a unified aim to promote health and well-being throughout the islands off County Galway. It is a great opportunity to raise awareness about the importance of leading a healthy lifestyle across all age groups. The good news is that many health conditions such as heart disease and stroke are preventable and our aim is to offer individuals the opportunity to engage in risk factor screening along with offering practical advice in relation to healthy eating, physical activity, overall health and wellness and lots more,” says Suzanne Seery, Lead Dietitian, Croí.

Exciting free activities and resources to promote health and wellbeing across all the islands will include; pulse and blood pressure checks; healthy cooking tips (such as a Q & A discussion with Croi Dietitian and residents of the islands about changing dietary habits and impact on health); yoga; relationship and sexual health education, including rapid HIV tests; resources on mental health and wellness; exercise and fitness tips; citizen information advice; and much, much more!

Health is better than wealth! We welcome Healthy Ireland to Inis Oírr and we encourage people to come out on the day and join us for this great event,” says Máire Uí Mhaoláin, Manager Inis Oírr Co-Op.

Healthy Island dates and locations:

  • Inis Oírr, Feb 27th, 11am – 3pm, Halla Pobail Inis Oírr
  • Inis Mór, March 6th, 11am – 3pm & 7 – 9pm, Comharchumann Forbartha Árann
  • Inis Meáin, March 7th, 11am – 3pm, Coláiste Naomh Eoin
  • Inishbofin, March 20th, 11am – 3pm, Inishbofin Community Centre

Check out www.croi.ie/healthyislands as well as @healthyireland @healthycountygalway for the latest information, and join us for this special #HealthyIslands event, promoting health and wellbeing. The Healthy Ireland Fund is supported by the Department of Health, the Department of Children and Youth Affairs and the Department of Rural and Community Development.

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Tagann Páirtithe le chéile d’ócáid speisialta saor in aisce chun Oileáin Shláintiúla a chur chun cinn.

Tá Éire Sláintiúil ag teacht go dtí na hOileáin! Déanfar sraith de laethanta sláinte agus folláine saor in aisce a sheachadadh ar fud na n-oileán, ag tabhairt cuairte ar Inis Oírr ar an 27 Feabhra, Inis Mór ar 6ú Márta, Inis Meáin ar an 7 Márta, agus Inis Bó Finne ar an 20 Márta.

Tionscnamh faoi stiúir an Rialtais é Éire Sláintiúil a bhfuil sé mar aidhm aige sochaí Éireannach a chruthú inar féidir le gach duine, sláinte fhisiciúil agus mheabhrach a bhaint amach , agus go bhfuil an deá-shláinte á chur chun cinn ag chuile leibhéal don sochaí.  Tugann LCDC Chontae na Gaillimhe faoi thionscnaimh Sláintiúil Chonae na Gaillimhe tacaíocth don tionscnaimh seo. Beidh go leor eagraíochtaí pobail agus deonacha i láthair. Ina measc seo tá Croí, an Carthanacht Croí & Stróc; Forbairt Tuaithe na Gaillimhe, Éire Sláintiúil i do Leabharlann; Tascfhórsa an Iarthair Drugaí agus Alcóil; Comhpháirtíocht Spóirt na Gaillimhe; Ionad Eolais do Shaoránaigh na Gaillimhe; Nasc Tuaithe na hÉireann; Teach Pieta; agus SEIF an Iarthair.

“Tá an tionscnamh seo ag tabhairt grúpaí éagsúla  le chéile le a haon sprioc amháin sin sláinte agus folláine a chur chun cinn ar oileáin na Gaillimhe. Is deis iontach é feasacht a ardú agus treoir a thabhairt do chuile aoisghrúpa, faoin tábhacht a bhaineann le stíl mhaireachtála shláintiúil. Ag an am céanna is féidir dul i ngleic leis na coinníollacha a chothaíonn  galar croí agus stróc agus is é an aidhm atá againn ná deis a thabhairt do dhaoine scagthástáil, féachaint ar na rioscaí chomh maith le comhairle a thairiscint maidir le bia sláintiúil, gníomhaíocht fhisiciúil, sláinte agus folláine in iomláine agus go leor eile “a deir Suzanne Seery, Príomh Diaitéiteach, Croí.

Beidh imeachtaí agus acmhainní saor in aisce ar fáil ar an lá a chuideoidh le sláinte agus folláine. Orthu siúd beidh; seiceálacha buille agus brú fola; Tástáil Sciobtha-VEID, leideanna cócaireachta sláintiúla (mar shampla plé agus ceisteanna maidir le Diaitéiteach Croí agus maidir le nósanna aiste bia a athrú agus an tionchar atá ag aiste bia ar shláinte); ióga; caidreamh agus oideachas sláinte gnéasach; acmhainní maidir le sláinte meabhrach agus folláine; leideanna cleachtadh agus folláine; comhairle faisnéise do shaoránaigh; agus i bhfad, i bhfad níos mó!

“Is fearr an tsláinte ná na táinte. Cuireann muid fáilte mhór roimh Éire Sláintiúil go dtí Inis Oírr agus iarrtar oraibh theacht amach agus a bheith linn ag an ocáid speisialta seo.” a dúirt Máire Uí Mhaoláin, Bainisteoir, Comhar Caomhán Teo, Inis Oírr. Dataí Oileáin Slaintiúla & Ionaid:

  • Inis Oírr, Feabhra 27ú, 11am – 3pm, Halla Pobail Inis Oírr
  • Inis Mór, Márta 6ú, 11am – 3pm & 7 – 9pm, Comharchumann Forbartha Árann
  • Inis Meáin, Márta 7ú, 11am – 3pm, Coláiste Naomh Eoin
  • Inishbofin, Márta 20ú, 11am – 3pm, Inishbofin Community Centre

Féach ar www.croi.ie/healthyislands chomh maith le @healthyireland @healthycountygalway don eolas is déanaí, agus bígí linn don ócáid speisialta (#HealthyIslands) seo, ag cur sláinte agus folláine chun cinn. Tacaíonn an Roinn Sláinte, an Roinn Leanaí agus Gnóthaí Óige agus an Roinn Forbartha Tuaithe agus Pobail le Ciste na hÉireann Sláintiúil.