Tuesday 22 August 2017

Man rushed to hospital for heart surgery after he was given the all-clear from Dublin heart check clinic

(Stock picture)
(Stock picture)
Catherine Devine

Catherine Devine

A man is warning others after he was rushed to hospital for heart surgery days after he was given the all-clear from a heart clinic in Dublin.

The man, who wishes to remain anonymous, said he booked an appointment for €50 with the Harmony Heart clinic in CityWest and was shocked at their misdiagnosis.

"I wasn't feeling great and I saw an ad in the paper for Harmony Heart which does heart check-ups so I decided to go.

"They put a monitor on my wrist to check everything out and they said I was fine. They picked up a heart flutter which I knew I had because I had heart problems before but they said everything else was fine. They didn't detect any problems with my arteries or anything."

Two days later, the man said he started to feel unwell at work and his wife told him to go straight to hospital. After a few brief tests and an ECG at the hospital, he was rushed to surgery to get a stent placed in his heart as his arteries were almost completely blocked.

"I had a three page print out from Harmony Heart but nothing about clogged arteries.

"I rang back the company to ask how this could have happened and they buried me in technical terms. My arteries couldn't have clogged within two days.

"I'd be afraid of anyone else going to them. I just want people to be aware that this happened."

In a statement the HSE said that the service is not endorsed by them.

"The HSE has no knowledge of Harmony Heart nor is it a service or endorsed by the HSE. Any person concerned in relation to their heart function should approach their GP in the first instance, or, in the case of an emergency attend their nearest Emergency Department."

In a statement to Independent.ie, Harmony Heart said that their machines "pick up on what is going on at that moment".

"Things change from day-to-day. Nothing is static. I'm a technician and the machine is FDA approved. We based our results on what was going on in that moment."

Patricia Hall, Heart and Stroke Helpline Manager, Irish Heart said: “We do not have any knowledge of the Harmony Heart service specifically but we are aware that many companies offer heart screening services. At Irish Heart, we believe decisions on the need for screening or additional testing should be based on each patient’s individual circumstances.

"As a result, we don’t recommend attending broad, untargeted screening services and we advise patients to engage with their GP who has their medical history and family history and is best placed to refer them for further screening as necessary.

“The latest story of a man experiencing a heart attack is a reminder that if you feel seriously unwell or have worries about heart attack or stroke, don’t delay and call emergency services immediately on 999 or 112.

"A heart attack will not always present as the Hollywood heart attack and the weakest link in providing effective treatment is patient delay. We know it can be difficult for patients to know if their symptoms are serious or not, but emergency departments would far rather see you and send you home with indigestion than have you arrive with a heart attack too late for effective treatment.”

Heart attack symptoms include:

·         Chest pain

·         Upper body pain in the jaw, back, neck or arms

·         Shortness of breath

·         Sweating

·         Nausea

·         Light-headedness

·         Loss of consciousness

·         Weakness

·         Tiredness

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