Health Minister Edwin Poots last night praised the work being done to improve services for cardiac patients, and paid tribute to the Northern Ireland Chest Heart and Stroke (NICHS).
The Minister was speaking during the launch of One Heart Campaign, an initiative by Astra Zeneca which assists patients with heart conditions using personalised text messaging and mobile technology. The service offered by One Heart is a free personalised support programme for patients with Acute Coronary Syndromes who have been prescribed an oral anti platelet.
The Minister said: “I am delighted that as a result of work following on from Transforming Your Care, patients suffering the most severe form of heart attack are now taken straight to a dedicated centre that is capable of undertaking the primary Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PCI) procedure 24 hours a day. There is already established a dedicated Primary PCI centre at the Royal Victoria Hospital and by summer 2014, Altnagelvin Hospital will become Northern Ireland’s second Primary PCI centre.”
Minister Poots continued: “It is working together with pharmaceutical companies like Astra Zeneca and to the unstinting efforts of voluntary organisations such as the NICHS that we are able to continue to provide such high quality services. NICHS has always been at the forefront of innovation in promoting health and informing the public.”
Notes to editors:
1. Primary PCI is a state-of-the-art medical technology that clears blockages in the arteries which are stopping blood from flowing to the heart. When the artery is blocked, typically by a fatty deposit and blood clot, a person will suffer from a particular form of heart attack, known as STEMI (ST Elevation Myocardial Infarction).
2. Astra Zeneca plc is a British-Swedish multinational pharmaceutical and biologics company headquartered in London. It is the world's fifth-largest pharmaceutical company measured by 2009 prescription drug sales (after Pfizer, Novartis, Sanofi, and GlaxoSmithKline) and has operations in over 100 countries.
3. NICHS (Northern Ireland Chest, Heart and Stroke) aims to improve the quality of life of the people of Northern Ireland by preventing and alleviating chest, heart and stroke illnesses. They provide:
· Stroke schemes aimed at offering structured and therapeutic activities to stroke victims on a weekly basis.
· Monthly social stroke groups and cardiac and respiratory support groups.
· Health promotion and education to the public.
· Health and fitness assessments for the public and within the work setting.
· Research projects