Croí, the Heart and Stroke Charity, Collaborates with Mayo GAA

Pictured at the launch of the Croí – Mayo GAA Collaboration from back left to right: Fran Downey, Chairperson Mayo GAA Health & Wellbeing Committee; Laurence Gaughan, Mayo GAA Health & Wellbeing Committee; Noreen Johnston, Mayo GAA Health & Wellbeing Committee; and Paul Cunnane, Croí Third Age Mayo Project Coordinator. Front left to right: Dr. Lisa Hynes, Croí Head of Health Programmes; Seamus Tuohy, Chairperson Mayo GAA; and Pat O’Donnell, Mayo GAA Health & Wellbeing Committee.

Croí to work with GAA clubs across Mayo to help promote better heart health

 

Croí, the heart and stroke charity, is delighted to collaborate with Mayo GAA’s Health and Wellbeing committee to develop programmes and events to help GAA club members in Mayo better manage their cardiovascular health.

The collaboration will see both organisations working closely over the coming months in conjunction with the clubs of Mayo to ensure their members become more aware of the risk factors of heart disease and stroke and the role they can play to become more proactive in managing their heart health.

Commenting on the initiative, Mayo GAA chairperson, Seamus Tuohy saidThe physical health and wellbeing of all our members is very important to us. It is not just the people on the pitch we need to look after but also the coaches, club officers, volunteers and supporters involved in our clubs. GAA clubs play a vital role in our communities and this initiative will really help put a spotlight on people’s cardiovascular health.

We are delighted to work with Croí on this initiative. Croí offer much-needed services to people right across the West of Ireland and I am sure this partnership will help to continue to promote the Croí message of “Own It, Check It, Sort It” when it comes to people’s heart health.

Fran Downey, Mayo GAA Health and Wellbeing Chairperson, commentedMayo GAA is committed to promoting health and wellbeing to its members, clubs and wider community ensuring everyone benefits in a health-enhancing way.

Working alongside Croí, whose values reflect those of the association, enables us to extend the support for clubs and the wider community by delivering evidence-based initiatives and raising awareness around wellness and cardiovascular health. It provides us with the opportunity to promote the importance of health through the lifelong participation of all our members. We are currently working on specific projects and are excited to offer these out to the local GAA Club and promote them as health hubs in the heart of every community.

Croí’s Head of Health Programmes, Dr Lisa Hynes, added “This collaboration allows us to promote and support the cardiovascular health and well-being of GAA club members right across Mayo.

Our vision is to develop a culture in County Mayo where promoting cardiovascular health and well-being is a priority for the population, with a particular emphasis on healthy ageing for those over the age of 55. We look forward to working with the Mayo GAA Heath & Wellbeing committee to roll out programmes and events to benefit their members and impact positively on their communities. We are very thankful to Mayo GAA for supporting us on the initiative.

Croí Partners with Barbers in Ballina to Raise Awareness of the Risks of High Blood Pressure

There’s only one way to know if you have high blood pressure: Measure it!

A trip to the barbers could have you looking and feeling better thanks to Croí, the heart and stroke charity, and the barbers of Ballina. To coincide with Men’s Health Week from June 13th – 19th Croí is collaborating with barbers and pharmacies in Ballina to raise awareness of the importance of regular blood pressure checks and managing high blood pressure.

Having your blood pressure measured is quick and easy!

High blood pressure (hypertension) is a sign that the heart and blood vessels are being overworked which in turn increases your risk of having a heart attack or a stroke. Croí encourages men this Men’s Health Week to know their numbers and visit their local pharmacy for a blood pressure check.

During Men’s Health Week, customers to the participating barbers in Ballina will receive information on the importance of blood pressure checks along with a list of pharmacies in the town offering free blood pressure checks. Participating barbers in Ballina include Nikki’s Barbers, Amanda’s Barbers, Lewy’s Barber Lounge, Kev’s Kutz, Gabby’s Turkish Barber, O’Rourkes Barbers, Hallahan’s Barbers and Ricky’s Barbers.

Commenting on the initiative, Croí’s Head of Health Programmes, Dr Lisa Hynes, said:We want the people of Mayo to become more aware of their cardiovascular health and this campaign during Men’s Health Week really allows us to do that in a very focused environment. 38% of men in Ireland are living with high blood pressure and we want to do all we can to reduce this number. After all, getting your blood pressure checked is quicker than getting your hair cut and it could save your life!

The participating pharmacies in Ballina include Molloy’s (Bunree Road), Molloy’s (Garden Street), Kilroy’s (Emmet Street) and McKane’s (O’Rahilly Street).

For more information visit www.croi.ie. Follow Croí on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @croiheartstroke.

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“This Men’s Health Week take just a few minutes to visit your local pharmacy and get your blood pressure checked, it’s quicker than getting your hair cut. Own it, check it and sort it!”, says former Mayo GAA footballer, Liam McHale, pictured with Nikki Galvin from Nikki’s Barbers in Ballina and Paul Cunnane, Croí Third Age Mayo Project Coordinator.

Take your health to heart this June with Croí’s Mayo Health Fairs

See croi.ie/healthfairs for more information

Croí, the heart and stroke charity, is hitting the road this June with heart health fairs in four locations across Mayo – Castlebar, Mulranny, Swinford and Ballina. Attend a free health fair to meet the Croí Health Team and get your blood pressure checked, get your heart health questions answered by experts, participate in interactive sessions, and meet with active community groups in your area.

The Croí Health Team and community partners will be in Castlebar Mitchels GAA club on June 2nd from 1 pm, The Mulranny Park Hotel on June 7th from 11 am, The Gateway Hotel, Swinford on June 9th from 11 am and Ballina Stephenties GAA club on June 14th from 1 pm.

The Castlebar and Ballina health fairs will commence with a free blood pressure check event at 1 pm and run until 6.30 pm. At 7 pm in both locations, there will be a free public talk on the importance of healthy ageing, with a focus on managing high blood pressure. The Mulranny and Swinford events will commence with a free blood pressure check event at 11 am and conclude at 4 pm.

All four health fairs will have participation from local community groups who will have stands and information on the services they offer in those areas. There will be educational talks and practical demonstrations conducted by members of the Croí Health Team and community groups.

All those who attend and get their blood pressure measured will be entered into a draw to win one of two Garmin smartwatches! Refreshments will also be available at all four locations.

We are thrilled to once again be back in the Mayo community to raise awareness of heart health. We have an exciting lineup of talks and demonstrations planned for these four health fairs and we are delighted to collaborate with a host of community groups from across Mayo. Throughout 2022, the Croí Third Age Mayo Programme is putting a spotlight on high blood pressure – early detection is key and will save lives”, says Dr Lisa Hynes, Croí’s Head of Health Programmes.

For more details on the Croí Mayo Health Fairs, including a list of participating community groups, please visit www.croi.ie/healthfairs or call Croí on 091-544310.

Croí Webinar – Expert advice on living with atrial fibrillation (irregular heartbeat)

Are you, or a loved one, living with atrial fibrillation? Join Croí, the Heart & Stroke Charity, and leading experts for an interactive webinar to learn how to manage this heart condition. The free webinar takes place online using Zoom on Thursday, June 9th, from 7 –8 pm.

Register now and submit your questions for the experts at www.croi.ie/webinar, or call Croí on 091-544310. Don’t miss this special event!

Atrial Fibrillation (AFib) is the name for the most common type of irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia). If you are living with AFib, it means that your heart beats in a disorganised way. This chaotic activity leads to an irregular, and usually fast, pulse rate which may cause palpitations and increase the risk of having a stroke, heart failure or other heart-related complications.

The interactive panel will address your questions on AFib, including signs and symptoms, steps to diagnosis, living with AFib, and management and treatment options. Experts on the night include Dr Niamh Hannon, Consultant in Stroke and Geriatric Medicine, University Hospital Galway; Dr John Keaney, Consultant Cardiologist, Mater Misericordiae University Hospital and Honorary Clinical Lecturer, UCD School of Health Sciences; and Ed Cherry, who will represent the patient voice by sharing his experience of AFib, from symptoms to diagnosis and treatment. The webinar will be hosted by Trish Galvin, Advanced Practice Nurse – Stroke, University Hospital Galway, with opportunities for attendees to ask their questions to the panel.

Atrial fibrillation is not immediately life-threatening in the same way as some irregular heartbeats are. Most people are able to live full and active lives with AFib. You can do this by taking your prescribed medication, following the medical advice you received from your doctor, having regular medical check-ups and making positive lifestyle changes”, says Dr Lisa Hynes, Croí’s Head of Health Programmes.

Register now at www.croi.ie/webinar, or call Croí on 091-544310.

The event is supported by Johnson & Johnson.

Ask the Experts at Free Croí Webinar

Watch back our past webinars below

Living Well with Atrial Fibrillation, June 9th, 2022

On Thursday the 9th of June, our Living Well with Cardiovascular Disease webinar series returned with an expert discussion on Living Well with Atrial Fibrillation.

Our expert panel for the evening included Dr Niamh Hannon, Consultant in Stroke and Geriatric Medicine, University Hospital Galway; Dr John Keaney, Consultant Cardiologist, Mater Misericordiae University Hospital, and Honorary Clinical Lecturer, UCD School of Health Sciences; and Ed Cherry, who represented the patient voice by sharing his experience of AFib, from symptoms to diagnosis and treatment. The webinar was hosted by Trish Galvin, Advanced Practice Nurse – Stroke, University Hospital Galway.

Living Well with Heart Failure, May 26th, 2022

On Thursday, May 26th, our Living Well with Cardiovascular Disease webinar series returned with an expert discussion on Living Well with Heart Failure.

Our expert panel for the evening included Dr John Barton, Heart Failure Consultant, Galway University Hospitals; Emer Burke, Advanced Nurse Practitioner (Heart Failure Integrated Care), Galway University Hospitals; and Ian Burnett, who is living with heart failure and shared his patient perspective. The special guest moderator was Aistė Štaraitė, a heart failure patient and Chair of the Global Heart Hub Heart Failure Patient Council, of which Croí is a founding Affiliate.

Managing your High Blood Pressure, April 28, 2022

On Thursday, April 29th, our Living with Cardiovascular Disease webinar series returned with an expert discussion on Managing High Blood Pressure.

High blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart attack and stroke. Watch back our webinar on high blood pressure and how to manage it with expert speakers Prof Andrew Murphy, GP & Professor of General Practice, NUI Galway; and Eoin Keating, Physiotherapist. 

Women's Heart Health and Menopause, March 31, 2021

On Thursday, March 31st, our Living with Cardiovascular Disease webinar series returned with an expert discussion on Women’s Heart Health and Menopause.

Our expert panel for the evening included: Dr Mary Ryan, Consultant Endocrinologist; Dr Eva Flynn, GP and Medical Educator; and Prof Catriona Jennings, Cardiovascular Specialist Research Nurse. Hosted by Annie Costelloe, Croí’s Patient & Community Engagement Manager.

Fingers on the Pulse for Stroke Awareness, October 28, 2021

On Thursday, Oct 28th, Croí hosted a special webinar to mark World Stroke Day. The webinar focused on risk factors stroke. Our expert panel for the evening included: Prof Rónán Collins, Geriatrician & Stroke Physician, Clinical Lead Irish – National Stroke Programme; Prof Jim Crowley, Consultant Cardiologist; Trish Galvin, ANP Stroke Care; Declan Fahy, Stroke Survivor; Edward Cherry, Living with Atrial Fibrillation.

This event was supported by Johnson & Johnson. To learn more about Atrial Fibrillation, visit getsmartaboutafib.com.

Risk Factors for Heart Disease and Stroke, September 30, 2021

On Thursday, Sept 30th, the Croí Health Team hosted a special webinar to mark World Heart Day. The webinar focused on risk factors for heart disease and stroke. Our expert panel for the evening included: Dr. Lisa Hynes, Health Psychologist and Croí’s Head of Health Programmes; Aisling Harris, Croí’s Cardiac and Weight Management Dietitian; Zoe McCrudden, Cardiovascular Nurse Specialist.

Heart Valve Disease, September 16, 2021

The Listen to Your Heart webinar (Sept 16, 2021) featured contributions from interventional cardiologist, Dr Samer Arnous, and James Penny, who is living with heart valve disease. MC on the evening was Lia Hynes, Journalist with the Irish Independent, author and podcast host. The webinar highlighted the signs and symptoms of heart valve disease and how it is detected and treated.

Minding Your Heart Health, August 12th, 2021

Croí’s Living with Cardiovascular Disease: Emotional Recovery webinar took place on Thursday, August 27th and featured an expert panel of speakers, including: Noelle O’Keeffe, Senior Counselling Psychologist and Professional Coach; Dr. Lisa Hynes, Health Psychologist and Head of Health Programmes, Croí; Maeve Frawley, Heartlink West Nurse, Croí and Jonathan Walsh, Living with heart disease.

Minding Your Heart Health, August 12th, 2021

On Thursday, August 12th, Croí hosted a special Minding Your Heart Health webinar for the community of Erris, Co. Mayo. We were delighted to be joined by three expert panelists: Prof. Jim Crowley, Consultant Cardiologist; Ailish Houlihan, Self-Management Support Co-ordinator for Long-term Health Conditions with Community Healthcare West; and Zoe McCrudden, Cardiovascular Nurse Specialist.

Living with Atrial Fibrillation, June 24th, 2021

Croí’s Living with Atrial Fibrillation webinar took place on June 24, 2021 and featured an expert panel of speakers, including: Paul Nolan, Chief II Cardiac Physiologist at Galway University Hospital; Dr. Jonathan Lyne, Cardiologist and Electrophysiologist at Blackrock Clinic; and Eileen Joyce, Psychotherapist, who was diagnosed with AFib last year and will share her experience from a patient’s perspective.

Managing your High Blood Pressure, May 20th, 2021

Croí’s Managing your High Blood Pressure webinar took place on May 20, 2021 and featured an expert panel of speakers, including: Prof. Bill McEvoy, Consultant Cardiologist, University Hospital Galway; Dr. Barry McDonnell, Cardiovascular Physiologist, Cardiff Metropolitan University; and Dr. Gerry Molloy, Health Psychologist, NUI Galway.

Living well with cardiovascular disease, April 29th 2021

Croí’s Living well with cardiovascular disease webinar took place on April 29, 2021 and featured an expert panel of speakers, including: Prof. Jim Crowley, Consultant Cardiologist; Dr. Cathy McHugh, Consultant Endocrinologist; Aisling Harris, Croí’s Cardiac & Weight Management Dietitian.

The MySláinte programme is funded by the Government of Ireland’s Sláintecare Integration Fund 2019, under Grant Agreement Number 121 to support the delivery of services which focus on prevention, community care and integration of care across all health and social care settings.

Slaintecare logos

Croí and NUI Galway present the World’s First Healthy Heart Garden at Bloom in the Park

The first cardiovascular themed show-garden features an innovative design and choice of plants to remind us all to look after our heart health. See www.croi.ie/bloom.

Friday, 20 May 2022: With Summer in the air, NUI Galway and partners, along with charity partner Croí, the heart and stroke charity, will present an inspirational cardiovascular-themed garden to educate people about heart health. The #CroiGarden will feature as a show-garden in this year’s Bloom in the Park, Ireland’s annual garden festival in the Phoenix Park, over the June Bank Holiday weekend from Thursday 2nd June – Monday 6th June.

The #CroiGarden highlights the importance of the three cardiovascular pillars – blood sugar (diabetes), blood pressure (hypertension) and blood lipid (cholesterol) control. In addition, the other key trinity of diet, exercise and mental health feature as part of the garden’s theme.

Many garden plants give us the compounds for medications – the French Lilac flower gives us the compounds for diabetes medications such as Glucophage (Metformin) and Willow trees give us cardiovascular medications such as Aspirin. The garden design incorporates architectural elements of the cardiovascular system such as large vessel-like cylindrical planting spaces and a pulsing water feature, mimicking the heartbeat and bringing movement into the space.

To highlight the global bee population collapse from the climate crisis, NUI Galway and Vodafone will also showcase robotic ‘Drone Bees’ in the garden. These small, lightweight drones will communicate with sensors in the garden, connected via Vodafone’s IoT network. The Drone Bees are part of the artificial intelligence research in the NUI Galway’s Hive Lab, based at the School of Medicine.

Project lead and Garden Designer, Professor Derek O’Keeffe, Professor of Medical Device Technology, NUI Galway and Consultant Physician, Galway University Hospitals, said: “The #CroiGarden represents a unique educational opportunity to remind people of the importance of looking after their heart health through blood sugar, blood pressure and blood cholesterol control, while paying attention to diet, exercise and mental health.

“The robotic Drone Bees concept starts an important conversation about planetary health, biodiversity and the current global bee colony collapse and this gives an example of how to help this crisis by leaving a part of the garden wild for insects to flourish.”

Croí’s Chief Operations Officer, Mark O’Donnell, said: “We are thrilled to be involved with this exciting project. A huge part of our focus at Croí is educating the public on the risk factors for heart disease and stroke, and preventing disease. Our partnership with NUI Galway’s School of Medicine on the #CroiGarden serves as a great educator around the control of risk factors like diabetes, blood pressure and cholesterol.”

The #CroiGarden is supported by Diabetes Care West, Novo Nordisk, EireComposites and Vodafone Ireland.

Owen Treacy, Country Manager for Novo Nordisk, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with NUI Galway on this exciting and innovative project. As a patient-focused pharmaceutical company, Novo Nordisk understands the importance of educating people on positive heart health, particularly when there is such a close link between having type 2 diabetes and increasing risk of heart disease. We believe it is very important to educate patients with type 2 diabetes to actively seek to lower their risk of cardiovascular disease, so the #CroiGarden is the perfect fit!”

Anne O’Leary, CEO of Vodafone Ireland said: “We are excited to work with Croí and NUI Galway on the world-first heart garden and drone bee project at Bloom in the Park. At Vodafone, we want to connect for a better future and use technology for good. A recent study suggests up to a 30% decline of the bumblebee population in a generation due to rising temperatures. The Drone Bee project is a great example of using cutting-edge technology to highlight this issue, the implications it will have on our ecosystem and the broader effects of the climate crisis.”

Kerrie Gardiner, Bord Bia Bloom Show Garden Manager  “I think the show gardens at Bord Bia Bloom are going to be really special this year. Some have been on the drawing board since 2019 so it’s exciting to see them finally coming together. As a Galway native, I’m particularly looking forward to see the Croí garden come to life in the park. It’s a great concept that will allow for lots of visitor engagement at the show.”

For more on the Croí Garden at Bloom, see www.croi.ie/Bloom.

To vote for the Croí Garden at the Bloom Garden People’ Choice Award, text GARDEN1 to 51500 (standard rate SMS). The vote is open from 09:00 on Thursday, 2nd June to 13:00 on Monday 6th June 2022. Vote before 13:00hrs on Monday, 6th June. Votes after this time will not be counted but SMS rates still apply. Please follow the voting instructions exactly or your vote may not come through. ONE vote per person per garden only. SMS Provider: Púca. Votes open to ROI & NI residents only.

Pictured from left outside Croí House: Christine Flanagan, Croí’s Fundraising Director; Christine Harnett, Croí Programme Participant; Croí Garden Designer and Project Lead, Dr Derek O’Keeffe – Professor of Medical Device Technology, NUI Galway, and Consultant Physician, Galway University Hospitals; and Mark O’Donnell, Croí’s Head of Foundation and Chief Operations Officer. Photo Credit: Aengus McMahon

Croí Webinar – Living Well with Heart Failure

Register now at www.croi.ie/webinar or call Croí on 091-544310

Are you, or a loved one, living with heart failure? Join Croí, the Heart & Stroke Charity, and leading experts, for a webinar to learn how to manage the condition. This free webinar takes place online using Zoom on Thursday, May 26th, from 7 – 8 pm.

Expert guest speakers on the night will include Dr John Barton, Heart Failure Consultant, Galway University Hospitals; Emer Burke, Advanced Nurse Practitioner (Heart Failure Integrated Care), Galway University Hospitals; and Ian Burnett, who is living with heart failure and will share his patient perspective. The special guest moderator on the night will be Aistė Štaraitė, a heart failure patient and Chair of the Global Heart Hub Heart Failure Patient Council, of which Croí is a founding Affiliate.

The interactive panel discussion will address your questions about living with heart failure.

Heart failure occurs when the heart is unable to pump blood around the body as well as it should. It does not mean that the heart has stopped working, but it means that the body is not getting the oxygen and nutrients that it needs to function normally.

Heart Failure is a serious chronic condition, but it doesn’t have to stop you from living. There are lots of things that you can do to help manage your condition, including medical treatments, adjusting your lifestyle, and self-management”, says Dr Lisa Hynes, Croí’s Head of Health Programmes.

This event is in recognition of International Heart Failure Awareness Week (May 9th – 15th). Register now and submit your questions at www.croi.ie/webinar, or call Croí on 091-544310. Don’t miss this special event!

Croí teams up with pharmacies across Mayo to offer free blood pressure checks for the month of May

Own it, Check it and Sort it with May Measurement Month
as part of Croí’s Third Age Mayo Programme

Did you know that uncontrolled high blood pressure can increase your risk of heart disease and stroke? The Croí Third Age Mayo programme, which aims to promote healthy cardiovascular ageing, is delighted to partner with local pharmacies across Mayo for the month of May to offer free blood pressure checks to anyone who has not had their blood pressure checked in the past year, with a particular focus on those over 55 years of age.

High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, occurs when the force of the blood flowing through your blood vessels is consistently too high. This causes many harmful effects on the body and if left untreated can significantly increase your risk of having a heart attack or stroke. High blood pressure typically has no symptoms – the only way to find out if you have high blood pressure is to have it checked regularly (at least once a year).

We’re delighted to be back in Mayo this year following the success of last year’s May Measurement Month campaign. The prevalence of high blood pressure in Ireland, particularly for people over the age of 55, is startling. At last year’s blood pressure measurement event in Mayo, 51% of people had elevated blood pressure, and only 37% of people taking medication for high blood pressure had a reading that was under the recommended level. Early detection is key and will save lives”, says Dr Lisa Hynes, Croí’s Head of Health Programmes.

From May 3rd – to 31st, over 30 pharmacies across Mayo will be participating in this initiative. Visit one of the participating pharmacies for your free blood pressure check and ‘Own it, Check it, Sort it!’. For the latest list of participating pharmacies, please visit www.croi.ie/third-age-mayo-bp.

New Croí ‘My Blood Pressure’ Programme
Members of the public found to have high blood pressure will be offered information and advice, as well as the opportunity to take part in a free Croí blood pressure management programme delivered by the Croí multi-disciplinary health team.

The participating pharmacies include:

Achill – Molloy’s; Balla – Life Pharmacy; Ballaghaderreen – Molloy’s; Ballina – Molloy’s (Bunree Road), Molloy’s (Garden Street), Kilroy’s, McKane’s; Ballinrobe – Hynes; Ballyhaunis – Curley’s; Bangor Erris  – Lavelle’s; Belmullet – Lavelle’s, McCormack’s; Castlebar – O’Donnell’s, MacAuliffe’s, Treacy’s, Staunton’s; Charlestown – Colleran’s; Claremorris – Haven Pharmacy, Aran Health Pharmacy; Cong – Cong Pharmacy; Crossmolina – Molloy’s, Quinn’s; Foxford – Heneghans; Kilkelly – Life Pharmacy; Killala – Lavelle’s; Kiltimagh – Heneghans; Knock – Life Pharmacy; Louisburgh – Staunton’s; Swinford – O’Connell’s; Westport – O’Connell’s, O’Donnell’s, McVann’s, Treacy’s.

Living Well with Cardiovascular Disease – Managing Your High Blood Pressure

Register at www.croi.ie/webinar or call Croí on 091-544310

Are you, or a loved one, living with high blood pressure? Join Croí, the Heart & Stroke Charity, and leading experts for a webinar to learn how to manage your high blood pressure. The free webinar takes place online via Zoom on Thursday, April 28th from 7 – 8 pm.

Expert guest speakers on the night include Prof Andrew Murphy, GP and Professor of General Practice, NUI Galway; and Eoin Keating, Physiotherapist. The interactive panel discussion will address your questions on living with high blood pressure. This event is in recognition of World Hypertension Day on May 17th.

Uncontrolled high blood pressure increases your risk of heart disease and stroke. It’s startling to know that Ireland has one of the highest rates of high blood pressure internationally, but among the lowest levels of diagnosis, treatment and control of the condition. Join us and connect with the experts at this free Croí webinar”, says Dr Lisa Hynes, Croí’s Head of Health Programmes.

Register now and submit your questions at www.croi.ie/webinar, or call Croí on 091-544310. Don’t miss this special event!

Five Things You Should Know in Taking Control of Your Blood Pressure
  1. Be informed – High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, happens when the force of the blood flowing through your blood vessels is too high. Left untreated, it can significantly increase the risk of having a stroke or heart attack.
  2. Get checked out – Known as a silent killer, high blood pressure usually has no symptoms. So, the only way to know if you have high blood pressure is to have it checked out.
  3. Know your pressure – You should have your blood pressure checked at least once a year. The recommended target level for blood pressure is <140/90 mmHg, however, if you have diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, or have previously had a stroke, you may be prescribed a lower target.
  4. Minimise the risks – There are steps you can take to lower blood pressure, such as maintaining a healthy weight and becoming more physically active, stopping smoking, avoiding added salt, drinking alcohol in moderation, increasing your intake of fruit and vegetables, and learning ways to cope with stress.
  5. You can be treated – If lifestyle measures on their own are not effective in keeping your blood pressure under control, then you may need to take prescribed medications in addition. These are usually for the rest of your life.

Croí bedside support initiative for patients in UHG Heart Unit

Pictured from left outside University Hospital Galway (UHG): Katie McCormack, Clinical Nurse Manager, Coronary Care Unit, UHG; Sarah Molloy, Senior Staff Nurse, Coronary Care Unit, UHG; Annie Costelloe, Croí Patient and Community Engagement Manager; Dr Lisa Hynes, Croí Head of Health Programmes; and Maeve Frawley, Croí Cardiovascular Nurse Specialist and Heartlink West Nurse Lead.

Croí, the local heart and stroke charity, this week launched a special collaboration with the Coronary Care Unit (CCU) in University Hospital Galway as part of Croí’s Heartlink West support service for people living with cardiovascular disease.

Working with the team in the Heart Unit, Croí produced a series of special videos for patients who are receiving care in the Hospital CCU. Patients can now watch these informational videos on iPads donated by Croí, with videos covering a wide range of topics, including cardiac rehabilitation; diet and exercise post-cardiac event; the emotional impact of a cardiac event or procedure; as well as advice on smoking cessation.

“We’re delighted to provide this new educational video support for patients in the CCU. These videos give patients more information and advice on life post-cardiac event or their heart procedure, and we hope this service will be a support to the incredible medical and nursing team in the CCU, which is such a busy environment,” says Croí’s Head of Health Programme, Dr Lisa Hynes.

“The CCU team here in University Hospital Galway are thrilled to collaborate with Croí on this project. In facilitating these informational videos, Croí’s Heartlink West service is supporting not just the patients, but also the CCU team to deliver the very best care to our patients. The great thing about this project is that these patients and their families can also follow up with Croí’s HeartLink West nurse when they go home with any further questions or concerns they might have,” says Katie McCormack, CCU Clinical Nurse Manager.

Croí plans to expand this support service later this year to more coronary care units in the west of Ireland, with additional video content being developed in the coming months. Croí’s Heartlink West support service also offers a free telephone helpline, Monday to Friday from 9 am – 5:30 pm on 091-544310. Learn more about the work at Croí by visiting www.croi.ie.