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Western Trust Cardiology Service urge public NOT to put off seeking hospital treatment if they are experiencing a heart attack


Staff from Cardiac Assessment Unit, Omagh Hospital

The Western Trust Cardiology Service are urging the public NOT to put off seeking hospital treatment if they are experiencing common cardiac conditions such as a hearts attack and to seek immediate medical treatment.

Dr McGlinchey, Consultant Cardiologist at the Western Trust explains: “We have noticed that the number of patients coming to hospital with common cardiac conditions such as heart attacks has fallen away dramatically and this is a pattern that has been seen in all regions affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.
“We know the public are listening to the public health messages to stay at home and away from hospitals during the COVID-19 pandemic, however, we don’t think that there are any less patients suffering from these common cardiac conditions.

“We think that patients are avoiding seeking medical attention for their complaints because of the public advice given or perhaps because of a fear on being exposed to COVID-19 if they attend the hospital. We want to assure patients that there are excellent treatment options available for treating common cardiac conditions. These help with symptoms, treat and prevent against short and long-term disability and prevent death. Many of the common cardiac conditions such as heart attacks require urgent treatment to avoid complications. The most effective treatment only happens through fast diagnosis and then fast treatment of the cardiac condition and should not be ignored.

“A failure to access healthcare professionals may have significant consequences for patients and their loved ones. Our cardiology teams across the Western Trust are experienced weighing up risks and benefits and coming to a balanced conclusion. That is why we have introduced a new service for patients in the Western Trust area which allows for a balanced approach. This new service aims to provide a more rapid and safer alternative for patients to come and see us.

“We are asking patients with chest pain, shortness of breath, palpitations and blackouts to contact our service by telephone for initial assessment. This is a 24 hours per day, 7 days per week service. An experienced cardiac nurse will assess the history over the telephone. They will have full access to previous records. On the basis of the history provided, patients may be