Stroke Awareness to feature at Clonmel Family Health Festival

Specialist nurses at the HSE’s Acute Stroke Unit in South Tipperary General Hospital and representatives from the Irish Heart Foundation have combined to exhibit at this year’s Clonmel Family Health Festival on Saturday 28th July.

Specialist nurses at the HSE’s Acute Stroke Unit in South Tipperary General Hospital and representatives from the Irish Heart Foundation have combined to exhibit at this year’s Clonmel Family Health Festival on Saturday 28th July.

The Stroke Unit nurses and Irish Heart Foundation team will have a room at the Main Guard from 10am to 4pm and in addition to offering advice and promoting awareness, they will offer visitors a free risk assessment and blood pressure checks.

Promoting their participation in the event, Ms. Gemma McLoughlin (Specialist Stroke Nurse at the Acute Stroke Unit in South Tipperary General Hospital) said:

“We’re delighted to be associated with the Clonmel Family Health Festival this year. There will be something for both young and old between 10am and 6.30pm from Friday to Sunday. Available on the day will be a nutritionist (advising on healthy food and cooking on a budget), cookery demonstrations, a fitness instructor, dance instructor, life coach and activities such as face painting for the kids and more – including live music each day.”

“During our stint at the festival on Saturday, one of the principal messages we will highlighting is that some 10,000 people experience stroke in Ireland each year but that many of these can be prevented. Along with the Irish Heart foundation, we want to raise stroke awareness and help our community fight against stroke. Stroke currently kills more people than lung; bowel and breast cancer combined but is a potentially preventable disease. We’d like people to act fast and we’ll be highlighting the importance of being able to recognise symptoms of a stroke, as most people don’t call an ambulance when someone is having one. We need to act fast when it occurs – or “FAST”:

F: has their FACE fallen on one side, can they smile?

A: Can they raise both ARMS and keep them there?

S: Is their SPEECH slurred?

T: TIME to call 999.”

“The chances of a good outcome is improved by 30% in patients who receive Thrombolysis. At South Tipperary General Hospital (STGH) in Clonmel, we offer a 24/7 thrombolisis (clot busting drug) which, if given within the 4.5 hour timeframe, could prevent death and disability to patients who receive the drug. In addition to the four bed Unit in STGH, we have other resources in pace locally – such as the monthly Stroke Support group I co-ordinate with Sandra Hickey (Nurse and Psychotherapist). We look forward to engaging with the public on Saturday and raise awareness on this important subject.”