Professional FAQ’s – StopHF


Who are The Heartbeat Trust

The Heartbeat Trust is Ireland’s national heart failure charity. It was established in 2004 by Prof Ken McDonald and Dr. Mark Ledwidge to support specialist clinical and research services in heart failure and heart failure prevention in Ireland. Our Mission is to improve Heart Failure care for all through advocacy and the provision of internationally leading research and services.

What is STOPHF?

STOPHF is the Screening to Prevent Heart Failure service run by The Heartbeat Trust and is aimed at prevention and early detection of heart failure. The screening initiative is where individuals (over 40 years of age who have one cardiovascular risk factor such as high blood pressure or diabetes) have a simple  Natriuretic Peptide (NP) blood test which can predict those at risk of not just heart failure but other cardiovascular diseases, allowing more focused care to be directed to these at individuals.

Originally based in St Michael’s Hospital, Dun Laoghaire STOP-HF is now starting to be deployed nationwide.

Selection criteria in order to participate in STOPHF?

      • over 40 years of age
      • one cardiovascular risk factor such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes or cancer therapy
      • In order to participate on the STOPHF service you will need to refer your patient to the STOPHF unit in St Michael’s Hospital, Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin

How do I refer a patient to STOPHF?

Please see the above criteria. If you feel your patient is an ideal candidate, simply refer him/her to the STOPHF unit, St. Michael’s Hospital, Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin.

What is Natriuretic Peptide (NP)?

Natriuretic peptide is a protein that is released if there is stress or strain on the heart muscle. It can be measured in two ways: BNP (B-Type Natriuretic Peptide) and NTproBNP (N-Terminal pro B-Type Natriuretic Peptide).

Who are the consultant cardiologists?

Prof Ken McDonald and Dr Patricia Campbell. To see our multidisciplinary team visit STAFF SECTION.

Where can I find research papers for STOPHF?

Please see here for a full list of of our publications.

What could the test show?

When in the STOP-HF screening programme, a small blood sample to test NP levels. Higher-than-normal results suggest that a person is at risk of developing heart failure, and the level of NP in the blood is related to risk severity. If the tests show high risk, there is no need to be alarmed. It is time to get proactive and the team at STOPHF unit of The Heartbeat Trust will advise and educate you in how best to manage your risk factors for heart failure including diet and lifestyle.To learn more about how you can be proactive about your own health and lifestyle choices please visit EDUCATION SECTION

What other kind of tests are performed at the STOP-HF Unit?

Blood tests may be performed such as Cholesterol, Non-fasting glucose (blood sugar). Thorough history taking and a physical examination is completed on every visit. And your patient may have some or all of the following: Electrocardiogram (ECG), Echocardiogram (Heart Ultrasound), 24-hour Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitor (24hr ABPM), 24-hour Holter Monitor and Treadmill Exercise Stress Test.

In certain rare circumstances you may be referred for a Coronary Angiogram.

Is STOPHF a study?

STOP-HF originally began as a clinical trial however due to successful publication in academic journals and international recognition it has been rolled out as a screening service. The service is currently offered in St. Michael’s Hospital, Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin and the Midlands region supported by the Heartbeat Trust. Studies continue in order to continue to improve outcomes for patients.

I’d like to know even more, who do I contact?

Please contact us for any queries relating to STOPHF.

Phone: 01 2845735

Email:  info@stophf.ie or info@heartbeat-trust.org

Web: www.heartbeat-trust.ie or www.stophf.ie

Patient Testimonials

Some words from our patients:

“It is indeed so very reassuring to know that we have excellent doctors such as Prof McDonald and his team working on our behalf.’

“As a spouse of a stroke survivor, tonight talks made me more aware of the actions I need to take for my own health as well as that of my husbands.”

“I find the process reassuring and the people involved in STOPHF very kind and helpful”

“I feel secure in the knowledge that I am being monitored. Beneficial in having ongoing advice etc.”

“Because of the thoroughness of the annual checks I was kept aware of my medical condition”

“While on the research programme it was discovered I had too much hormone. Then I was sent to the Endocrinology team in SVUH for many tests. I was diagnosed to have a growth in my pituitary and acromegaly. I had surgery in Beaumont Hospital to remove the growth. I am so grateful to the Heartbeat Trust for finding this and sending me to have it researched and treated.

“Lovely people. Great work over many years which will clearly help our nation. Thank you for your information”