Pulmonary Hypertension Unit

Irish Ladies Rugby Team ‘Get Breathless’

The victorious Irish Ladies Rugby Team (winners of the Grand Slam & 6 Nations Championship) were happy to get breathless when they launched the ‘Get Breathless for Pulmonary Hypertension’ campaign at the Old Wesley training grounds. Ailis Egan, Nora Stapleton, Fiona Coghlan, Shannon Houston and Jenny Murphy of the 2013 Ladies Rugby Grand Slam team kindly gave of their time to launch the campaign and raise awareness of Pulmonary Hypertension and its impact on patients and their families.

PH (Pulmonary Hypertension) is a rare lung disorder in which the arteries that carry blood from the heart to the lungs become narrowed, making it difficult for blood to flow through the vessels. This disorder occurs in individuals of all ages, races and ethnic backgrounds although it is much more common in young adults and is approximately twice as common in women as in men.

Symptoms of pulmonary hypertension do not usually occur until the condition has progressed. The first symptom of pulmonary hypertension is usually shortness of breath with everyday activities (e.g climbing the stairs) chest pain & fatigue. Unfortunately the symptoms of PH are often mistaken for those of less serious conditions such as asthma. Many patients spend 2-3 years seeking an accurate diagnosis. Delay in Diagnosis can be fatal and without treatment the average life expectancy is 2.8 years. Many patients will see 3 or more physicians over a 2 year period before they are properly diagnosed with PH.

World PH Day will be held on 5 May and the theme throughout the year will be ‘Get Breathless for PH’ – we are encouraging all those with a love of sport to organise something to help increase awareness of this disorder.

Activities are being organised throughout the country which we hope will increase awareness and disseminate knowledge of the disease to facilite early diagnosis and promote research that will help find the cure for Pulmonary Hypertension. The Irish Rugby Ladies were joined by Prof. Sean Gaine, Head of the National Pulmonary Hypertension Unit at the campaign launch.

If you would like to organise an event – please contact Regina Prenderville, Pulmonary Hypertension Association – Ireland by e-mail  pha@mater.ie or mobile 087 637 6563

See more images of the launch here.