Listen to your heart, not your head

Do not die of embarrassment is the hard-hitting message from the Irish Heart Foundation, which is urging Irish men not to delay in calling 999 for emergency treatment if they think they are having a heart attack.

Figures from the CSO show that 83 per cent of premature deaths from heart attack under the age of 65 occur in men, which is equal to five men dying prematurely every week or a total of 274 premature male deaths annually. The latest campaign is a national alert to men about the urgent nature of heart attack symptoms and the need to call 999 immediately.

“A heart attack is a serious medical emergency and every minute lost or delayed in getting treatment increases damage to the heart muscle and may even result in death,” said Dr Angie Brown, medical director of the Irish Heart Foundation and consultant cardiologist. “The weakest link in providing effective treatment for heart attack is patient delay in seeking care. Too often the signs are ignored until it is too late or delays occur by going first to the GP, calling a family member or friend, or even by driving yourself to hospital which is extremely dangerous. Our message is simple – don’t die of embarrassment, pick up the phone and dial 999 immediately.”

Posters and flyers distributed to hospitals and GPs during September’s Heart Month will also help drive the potentially life-saving message – Don’t die of embarrassment, call 999 at the first sign of heart attack. Free copies of the booklet are available on request by calling 1850 364 364.

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