27 heart attack patients survive
after cross border care
people survived a heart attack last year after they
received life-saving treatment at a top clinical
facility across the border.
The cardiology service at Altnagelvin Hospital,
Derry, treated the 27 patients after they presented
with ST-Elevation Myocardial infarction condition,
or heart attack.
The patients received primary Percutaneous Coronary
Intervention (pPCI) services at the acute facility
on the outskirts of Derry city.
Donegal man, Donie Cronin, was one of the 27
patients who received the treatment. He believes it
saved his life.
“I am very grateful for this life-saving patient
service and to all involved in my care. Thankfully I
am doing really well now," said Mr Cronin.
Donegal man Donie Cronin, centre, who
was one of the 27 patients who received life-saving
coronary care through the new cross-border service.
clinical service began last May with the co-signing
of a cross-border service level agreement between
the Western Health and Social Care Trust in the
North and Saolta University Health Care Group in the
The agreement makes provision for between 50 and 60
patients per year to receive coronary care at
The Donegal patients were successfully treated and
transferred after their procedure by ambulance to
Letterkenny University Hospital or Sligo University
The unique cross-border service is the result of a
review of cardiology services in the North West
chaired by HSE Acute Hospitals national clinical
advisor Dr Colm Henry and completed in 2013.
A key recommendation was that patients requiring
pPCI, who are within 90 minutes road time from
Derry, should be transferred by ambulance to
Altnagelvin Hospital if their diagnosis recommends
Western Health and Social Care Trust clinical lead
Dr Albert McNeill said the service offers great
benefits to heart attack patients.
“Receiving this treatment as soon as possible
improves patient survival and reduces the long term
heart damage caused by heart attacks. The clinical
service is a good example of how health care
organisations and professionals across jurisdictions
can work together for the benefit of patients," he