Signs and symptoms of heart failure – Sligo event

By June Shannon Heart News   |   24th Oct 2019

Irish Heart Foundation patient information evening on heart failure in Sligo next month will hear about living well with heart failure

Recognising the signs and symptoms of heart failure and early intervention is key to avoiding hospital admission with the condition and this is the aim of the specialist heart failure clinic in Sligo University Hospital (SUH), according to Attracta Madden, Clinical Nurse Specialist in heart failure at the hospital.

Attracta together with her colleague Fiona Mahon, CNS in Heart Failure, is due to address a special Irish Heart Foundation patient information evening on heart failure in Sligo on Wednesday 06th of November.

Heart failure affects approximately 90,000 people in Ireland. It is a highly debilitating, life-threatening condition in which the heart cannot pump enough blood around the body, as the walls of the heart become too weak or too stiff to work properly.

The Sligo information evening is part of the Irish Heart Foundation’s heart failure awareness campaign ‘Don’t ignore the signs of Heart Failure’, which is supported by Novartis.

The campaign aims to educate the public about the warning signs of heart failure. These include, shortness of breath, swollen ankles and fatigue. It also aims to encourage people not to ignore these symptoms, but to discuss them with a doctor as soon as possible.

According to Attracta, knowing and recognising the symptoms and intervening early is key to living well with heart failure.

The heart failure clinic at SUH which is run by Attracta and Fiona, has approximately 700 patients and provides information and advice on a range of topics including, medication management and lifestyle advice for people who have been newly diagnosed as well as those living long term with heart failure.

“ Heart failure is quite a common illness and there is help and support out there,"

Attracta Madden, Clinical Nurse Specialist in Heart Failure , Sligo University Hospital

SUH also runs a special modified cardiac rehabilitation exercise programme that is specifically geared towards people living with heart failure and this is run by Attracta and Fiona in conjunction with physiotherapists at SUH Audrey Colleary and Conor McGowan.

Attracta said that for many patients, the biggest challenge can be medication adherence as they may find it confusing to remember when they need to take their medication or if you have forgotten to take it. She said that specially prepared blister packs which are available from the pharmacy can help reduce confusion and thereby improve patient adherence to medication.

The good news is that people with heart failure can live a full and active life if the condition is detected and treated early.

“Is it possible to live a full life with heart failure, said Attracta.

“We help patients maintain quality of life, so they are able to carry out their normal daily activities, regular exercise medication and looking out or being aware of their symptoms is key,” she said.

Attracta added that it was important for patients to know that they are not on their own and the SUH heart failure team is always available on the phone for any queries or concerns their patients may have. She also welcomed the upcoming patient information evening in Sligo.

“Heart failure is quite a common illness and there is help and support out there. Any information night is a good evening because there is always someone belonging to someone who is affected by heart failure,” she said.

The Irish Heart Foundation’s free heart failure patient information evening will take place in the Sligo Park Hotel, Sligo, on Wednesday November 6th, and the speakers include, Dr Donal Murray, Consultant Cardiologist at SUH. The Irish Heart Foundation will also hold a similar event in the Ashling Hotel, Dublin on Thursday November 7th where campaign ambassador Michael Lyster will return to make a special guest appearance.

For more information on the Sligo patient information evening please see here

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