13 Aug 2022

Carlow incident saw pharmacy staff use defib on local man in suspected cardiac arrest

Incident highlights the importance of pharmacy training and investment in heart health

Carlow Carlow Carlow

"Our team drew on specialised training and experience to work quickly, and we’re pleased that the patient is recovering well," said pharmacist at LloydsPharmacy on Tullow Street, Ann-Marie Walsh

A recent incident at LloydsPharmacy Tullow Street saw colleagues work quickly to use a defibrillator and apply CPR on a local man who was in suspected cardiac arrest. 

Supervising Pharmacist, LloydsPharmacy Tullow Street, Ann-Marie Walsh, said: "Our team drew on specialised training and experience to work quickly, and we’re pleased that the patient is recovering well.

"We have done a lot in the area of heart health, but must continue to do more."

The team at LloydsPharmacy Tullow Street including Supervising Pharmacist Ann-Marie Walsh and Pharmacy Manager Jackeline Kennedy used a defibrillator in conjunction with CPR on the local Carlow man.

The incident brings to the light the important role that local pharmacies play in delivering an accessible, high standard of heart healthcare services. 

LloydsPharmacy, Ireland’s leading pharmacy group in partnership with the Irish Heart Foundation, provides specialised heart health training for all colleagues nationwide, focusing on cardiovascular risk assessments, lifestyle advice, blood pressure, BMI and pulse checks, to ensure effective delivery of heart health services, advice and guidance.

As part of the partnership, pharmacies nationwide have become "heart health hubs".

Defibrillators are situated inside 88 LloydsPharmacy pharmacies nationwide, and at least one colleague from each pharmacy has been trained on CPR.

Tips and advice from the Irish Heart Foundation to reduce the risk of heart disease are available for patients in all LloydsPharmacy pharmacies.

On November 15, LloydsPharmacy will hold a National Heart Health Day in stores nationwide, highlighting the importance of regular blood pressure and BMI check-ups. 

Together, LloydsPharmacy and the Irish Heart Foundation work to increase heart health awareness and encourage positive, preventative steps to a healthy and active lifestyle.  

Denis O’Driscoll, Superintendent Pharmacist, LloydsPharmacy, said: "Crucially for us, this incident has highlighted the need for ongoing extensive training in the area of heart health.

"This requires additional Government investment both nationally and locally, as well as a commitment from pharmacies nationwide.

"LloydsPharmacy and the Irish Heart Foundation work together with our colleagues to help our customers and patients across the country understand and monitor their heart health and how to look after it.

"This year, LloydsPharmacy has organised four National Blood Pressure Days inviting customers and patients to get their blood pressure checked, a free service available all year round."

As a result of these days, LloydsPharmacy has tested 2,743 people’s blood pressure nationwide and referred 12.4% to visit their GP for a further examination.

Early detection is crucial when it comes to issues with heart health, and close management of conditions is also essential. 

LloydsPharmacy colleagues have collectively undergone over 17,000 annual hours of training in heart health, diabetes, asthma, skincare, and other areas so they can provide expert advice to their patients.

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