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Press release


Stroke and heart attack: Charité appeal to the citizens of Berlin to urgently seek medical help if they experience symptoms

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Even during the COVID-19 pandemic, heart attack and stroke will continue to affect both men and women. Berlin records more than 12,000 strokes and approximately 10,000 heart attacks every year. Thanks to modern treatments, the past few years have seen dramatic improvements in the prognosis of patients with either heart attack or stroke. However, for patients with either of these conditions, every minute counts. Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin is now appealing to the citizens of Berlin to take any potential symptoms seriously and to immediately contact the emergency services by calling 112. Both conditions represent acute emergencies. This is why affected patients will continue to receive the care they need, even during the current COVID-19 pandemic. Patients with COVID-19 are treated on entirely separate wards.
Since the start of the pandemic, Charité has recorded a drop in the numbers of patients with heart attack and stroke. Similar observations have been made elsewhere in Germany and in other areas of Europe. The data suggest that affected individuals are unsure as to whether a visit to the hospital is advisable in the current situation. Patients affected by these conditions tend to belong to groups of individuals considered at increased risk from COVID-19 – and will naturally be worried as a result. However, it is important to remember that patients with heart attack and stroke must receive hospital treatment without delay. Failure to seek immediate help may result in adverse consequences such as heart failure, arrhythmias and paralysis, or may even lead to death.

Essential information

Typical symptoms of stroke
1. Sudden weakness or numbness on one side of the body, e.g. affecting one arm or leg or one side of the face
2. Sudden difficulty speaking associated with numbness or paralysis
3. Sudden visual disturbance (e.g. Double vision)
4. Dizziness, difficulty walking, and/or a lack of coordination
5. Sudden confusion or loss of consciousness
6. Nausea, vomiting, confusion
7. A sudden, severe headache
Typical symptoms of heart attack
1. Sudden chest pain or upper abdominal pain
2. A feeling of tightness in the chest
3. Nausea, vomiting, shortness of breath
4. Cold sweat
5. A burning sensation behind the breastbone


Manuela Zingl
Corporate Spokesperson
Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin
t: +49 30 450 570 400

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