The Malta Independent 30 May 2020, Saturday

Don’t ignore signs of heart attack, stroke – specialists

Saturday, 23 May 2020, 06:34 Last update: about 6 days ago

Signs of heart attack and stroke should not be ignored, the Malta Resuscitation Council, together with the Association of Emergency Physicians of Malta, The Maltese Cardiac Society and Primary Health Care, said.

Over the past two months, since the Coronavirus pandemic has reached Malta, there have been various reports of people being afraid to go to hospital when they get symptoms of heart attack and stroke.

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Even health superintendent Charmaine Gauci has made reference to it in her regular press briefing, saying that other illnesses or conditions should be given adequate attention even though people are afraid of the virus.

The Malta Resuscitation Council, together with the Association of Emergency Physicians of Malta, The Maltese Cardiac Society and Primary Health Care is urging the public to seek immediate medical help if they themselves feel or they suspect anyone nearby might be feeling symptoms suggestive of a heart attack or stroke.

These are two potentially fatal medical conditions where every minute counts, they said. The benefit the patient gets from immediate management of an evolving heart attack or stroke far outweighs the perceived fear of a risk of contracting COVID-19 from a healthcare facility. Health Centres, the Emergency Department and the Critical Coronary Care Unit have all been streamlined to cater for both COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 patients equally and safely.

A sudden onset of chest pain or heaviness in the chest is good reason to seek immediate medical attention and get evaluated for a heart attack.

A sudden weakness in any one of the limbs, any sudden facial asymmetry or any sudden slurring or difficulty in speech are enough to seek immediate medical attention and get evaluated for a stroke. In case of emergency please call 112. If in doubt, you can contact the Primary Health Care on 21 231 231 and ask to speak to a medical professional.


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