A trip to the barbers could save your life, says Croi

Mayo Senior Football Manager Stephen Rochford is pictured receiving information on heart attack from Ailish Houlihan, Croí Nurse and Ann Marie Brown, Co-ordinator of Cardiac Rehab, Mayo University Hospital, while getting his hair done in David Simon’s Barbers in Ballinrobe. Photo: Frank Dolan

Mayo Senior Football Manager Stephen Rochford is pictured receiving information on heart attack from Ailish Houlihan, Croí Nurse and Ann Marie Brown, Co-ordinator of Cardiac Rehab, Mayo University Hospital, while getting his hair done in David Simon’s Barbers in Ballinrobe. Photo: Frank Dolan

Taking a trip to the barbers this week could save your life, says local Heart & Stroke Charity, Croí which has just announced details of a novel Heart Attack Awareness Campaign taking place in Barber Shops across Mayo, to mark Men’s Health Week (June 13 to 19 ).

Launched by Stephen Rochford, Manager of the Mayo Senior Football Team, this campaign will involve barber shops across the county spreading important messages about the main signs and symptoms of heart attack to its customers.

Lending his support to this health initiative, Stephen Rochford expressed his delight at being involved in a project which will inevitably save lives. Speaking about this initiative Croí Nurse Ailish Houlihan said “This campaign which involves a partnership between Croí, Mayo PCCC, HSE West and Mayo University Hospital,aims to raise awareness about heart attack.

"We are encouraging everyone in the county to learn the main signs and symptoms of heart attack and to take immediate action by phoning 999 or 112 for an ambulance, if you suspect that you, or a family member, may be having a heart attack," she said.

"All too often, people wait too long to take appropriate action; which can limit treatment options, increase the risk of complications, and unfortunately, in too many cases, individuals die at home before they seek help. By working with the Barber Shops during Men’s Health Week we are hoping to spread the message to as many men as possible.

"While it may seem an unusual setting for a health message many of the Barbers who have come on board have been really eager to get involved and spread the campaign message to their customers, in an effort to save lives," she added.

Co-ordinator of Cardiac Rehabilitation in Mayo University Hospital, Ann Marie Brown, welcomed the campaign by saying “So many individuals who come through the cardiac rehabilitation service are often very surprised that they did not recognise they were having a heart attack at the time of their cardiac event.

"Unfortunately, many people still believe that the experience of a heart attack will be similar to that portrayed on the TV, in other words, they expect to experience the crushing chest pain or collapse on the floor, and if they do not experience these, they are left thinking that their symptoms are unrelated to heart attack.

"It is important that the public realise that there are many other signs of heart attack, and by becoming aware of these, we hope people will seek medical help sooner," said Ms Brown.

Barbers in Castlebar, Westport, Ballinrobe, Swinford and Ballyhaunis are taking part in this initiative and many more are welcome to join in.

If your barber shop is interested in coming on-board the campaign for Men’s Health Week, please contact Ailish Houlihan, Croí Nurse on 094-9049172 or email [email protected] for your free campaign information pack. With Heart Attack, minutes matter, so the key message during this campaign is ‘Know the Signs of Heart Attack and Take Immediate Action by calling 999 or 112’. To learn more about Heart Attack please visit www.croi.ie/heartattack

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