1,400+ treated for major heart attack in 2016

Over 1,400 people were treated for a major heart attack in 2016, a new report has revealed.

According to the report, Heart Attack Care Ireland 2016, a total of 1,412 people were treated for a major heart attack in 2016, known as STEMI (ST elevation myocardial infarction).

STEMI is a very serious type of heart attack which occurs when one of the heart's major arteries, which supplies oxygen and nutrient-rich blood to the heart muscle, becomes blocked.

Those most at risk of STEMI are people over the age of 50, smokers, people who are overweight, those with known cholesterol and blood pressure issues, and those with a strong family history of heart attacks.

The main treatment for this type of heart attack is PPCI, also known as coronary or simple angioplasty. This is a procedure to remove a clot and insert a stent into the coronary artery.

According to the report, 96% of eligible patients received this treatment in 2016, and 82% received rapid PPCI treatment within two hours if they arrived directly at a PPCI centre. This is up from 77% in 2014.

However, the report noted that just 41% of patients received PPCI treatment within two hours if transferred from another hospital.

There are currently seven PPCI centres in Ireland - Cork University Hospital, University Hospital Limerick, St James's Hospital in Dublin, the Mater in Dublin, University Hospital Galway, University Hospital Waterford, and Altnagelvin Hospital in Derry, which is contracted to treat patients from Donegal.

All of these hospitals provide PPCI treatment 24 hours a day, except Waterford, which provides it between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday.

Meanwhile, St Vincent's University Hospital, Tallaght Hospital and Beaumont Hospital can also provide PPCI treatment from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.

Commenting on the report, Dr Siobhan Jennings, a consultant in public health medicine, pointed out that smoking levels are high in STEMI patients (38%).

"Helping a patient to stop smoking is essential and is as important as other treatment measures. It is never too late to quit smoking, I would encourage all smokers not to wait another day and to visit www.quit.ie," she said.

Meanwhile, anyone who is concerned about chest pain should dial 999 or 112 to go directly to a PPCI centre.

The report can be viewed here


[Posted: Mon 25/06/2018]

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