Record numbers of people have been hospitalized with heart attacks in the wake of the pandemic, official figures show. On Tuesday, health chiefs will launch a campaign urging those with symptoms to seek help, with fears that too many cases are being detected too late. The new figures for England show that more than 84,000 patients were admitted to hospital because of a heart attack in 2021/22 – a rise of more than 7,000 in a year.
It follows warnings that heart deaths have risen by more than 500 a week since the first lockdown, with a fall in the numbers prescribed vital medication amid struggles to access GP care.
According to MSN, Health officials are afraid that people are still failing to come forward, adding to the collateral damage caused by the pandemic. From this week, an NHS advert will encourage people to call 999 as soon as they experience symptoms of a heart attack, such as squeezing across the chest, sweating, and a feeling of uneasiness, so people have the best chance of survival.
Prof Nick Linker, a cardiologist and NHS national clinical director for heart disease, said: “Cardiovascular disease causes one in four deaths across the country, so it is vital that people are aware of the early signs of a heart attack.
“Every moment that passes during a heart attack increases heart muscle damage, and nearly all of the damage takes place within the first few hours, so if you experience symptoms such as a sensation of squeezing or tightness across the chest alongside sweating, nausea, or a sense of unease, please call 999 so you have the best chance of a full recovery”.
On Tuesday, Rishi Sunak will set out plans for a £250 million spending boost for the NHS ahead of winter, including 900 extra beds. The Prime Minister said: “Cutting waiting lists is one of my top five priorities, so this year the Government has started planning for winter earlier than ever before and the public can be reassured we are backing the NHS with the resources it needs.”
Government data show almost 100,000 extra deaths among those with heart disease between spring 2020 and spring of this year. In 2019-20, before the pandemic, 82,000 people were hospitalized with heart attacks.
It follows research that found almost half a million people missed out on drugs to prevent heart attacks and strokes during the pandemic.
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