Public urged to use A&Es during Covid-19 outbreak especially if a stroke or heart attack is suspected

Conor Ganly


Conor Ganly


coronavirus covid-19

Portlaoise hospital A&E

People have been urged not to be afraid to attend A&E in an emergency because of Covid-19 especially if they are showing symptoms of stroke or a heart attack.

Trevor O'Callaghan is the chief executive officer of the HSE's Dublin Midlands Hospital Group. He oversees the running of hospitals in Laois, Offaly, Kildare as well as Tallaght, St James and the Coombe hospitals in Dublin.

"Our Emergency Departments are open 24/7 for people who are seriously ill or injured and if their life is at risk. If you or someone else needs urgent care please do not delay going to the ED. Stroke and heart attacks are life-threatening medical emergencies.

"If you or someone else is showing signs of a stroke or heart attack, don’t wait, call 999. Routine matters should continue to present to their GP or Out of Hours practice in the first instance. You can find a full list of GPs and Out of Hours on 

"Please do not delay in seeking urgent medical help, particularly if you have symptoms of stroke or heart attack."

Mr O'Callaghan reminded people that the main stroke symptoms can be remembered with the word FAST:

• Face dropping

• Arms weakness

• Speech difficulty

• Time to act

"The symptoms of a heart attack can include chest pain, pain in other parts of the body, shortness of breath, nausea, an overwhelming sense of anxiety, feeling light-headed, coughing, vomiting, and or wheezing. If you need medical advice, please call your GP,” said Mr O'Callaghan.