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Heart conditions
Heart conditions


A man clutching his heart

What if I already have a heart condition, and then I get COVID?

If you already have a heart condition, you might have had to shield during lockdown. Having a heart condition does not mean you are more likely to get COVID, but it means you could become seriously unwell if you do get COVID.

COVID mainly affects your lungs, and it can also affect your heart because your lungs and heart are connected. Your lungs put oxygen into your blood, and your heart pumps the blood all around your body.

If you have a heart problem and have COVID, it means your lungs and heart need to work extra hard to deal with your heart problem and the virus.

People with heart problems often have other health problems which could make them seriously ill from COVID, such as:

  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes

Ring 999 straight away if you notice any of these problems:

  • Chest pain that is getting worse
  • Facial drooping – when one side of the face drops down
  • Speech difficulties
  • Shortness of breath
  • Palpitations – when your heart beats very fast and hard
  • Fainting

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Should I take my medication as usual?

You must carry on taking any prescribed medication. If you stop taking your medication, it can affect your heart problem and make you feel worse.

If you have any concerns or questions about your medication, please speak to your local pharmacist or GP.

If you need to go to hospital, make sure you bring an up to date list of your medication with you.

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What about routine hospital appointments?

Hospitals, clinics and GP surgeries have put off many appointments because of COVID.

If your appointment is cancelled or delayed, you will get another appointment when it is safe for you to go. The hospital or clinic should contact you about changes to your appointment, which might be face-to-face or as a phone or video call.

Contact your GP surgery or ring the number on your appointment letter if:

  • You do not know what is going on with your appointment
  • Your condition has got worse

If you need help to make a new appointment, you could ask someone you trust to support you.

It is important to remember that you should not attend face-to-face appointments if you have any symptoms of COVID or have vomited, or had diarrhoea in the last 48 hours.

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