Movember – Men’s Health Awareness Month

Our fathers, partners, brothers and friends face a health crisis that isn’t being talked about. Men are dying too young and we can’t afford to stay silent. This month, the ‘Movember’ movement focuses on health issues affecting men –  Prostate Cancer, Testicular Cancer and Mental Health.


Prostate Cancer

In Irish men, prostate cancer is the second most common cancer, after skin cancer. Each year over 3,400 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer, which means that one in eight men will be diagnosed during their lifetime. The cause of prostate cancer is unknown at present although certain risk factors such as age, family history, race and diet can increase your chance of getting the disease.


The difference between early and late detection is life – discovered early, the chance of surviving past 5 years is 98%, compared to 26% if detected late. Being able to recognise symptoms is key to early detections, so it’s important to stay vigilant for any of the following:

  • A slow flow of urine.
  • Trouble starting or stopping the flow.
  • Passing urine more often, especially at night.
  • Pain when passing urine.
  • Blood in the urine or semen.
  • Feeling of not emptying your bladder fully.


If you have any concerns that you may be at risk, visit your doctor or go to,-prostate/symptoms-of-prostate-cancer.html for more information.


Testicular Cancer

Testicular cancer in particular is a concern for young men, but with early detection, the survival rate is 95%. Certain groups such as men with undescended testicles or those with a family history of testicular cancer have a higher chance of developing this form of cancer, so it’s important to stay vigilant.


The best method of early detection remains a regular self-check. Look out for changes in shape or size, new lumps or any pain/tenderness to the touch. For more information on performing self-checks or what to look for visit:


Mental Health

Research points to a silent crisis around men’s mental health. Globally, every minute a man dies of suicide. Though the suicide rates in Ireland have shown a downward trend in recent years, these numbers continue to be extremely high. In 2017, 400 suicides were recorded in Ireland with men accounting for 8 out of 10 deaths.


In Irish society, men have not traditionally been encouraged to seek help and support if suffering from mental health issues. Although this attitude is changing, as societal awareness of issues such as toxic masculinity increases and stigma reduces, much still needs to be done. If you or someone you know is going through a difficult time, reaching out for support is essential. The Movember movement encourages men to ‘talk, ask, listen, encourage action and check in.’ For more information and support services, visit the following websites


Get involved

During the month of November awareness for men’s health issues is raised by the ‘Movember’ movement. There are many ways you can get involved in supporting this movement, from growing a moustache to ‘Moving for Movember’ or joining the Movember organisation on their ‘distinguished gentleman’s ride.’


Visit to find out how you can get involved in raising funds and awareness.

The Mrs Brown’s Boys FAI Heart Care Programme has launched!

AMS was proud to be at the launch of Mrs Brown’s Boys Heart Care Programme yesterday in FAI HQ. We will be providing Cardiac Screening to underage league of Ireland Soccer teams over the next 6 years..Thanks to Brendan & Jenny O’Carroll, and the Football Association Ireland for making this happen!

Check out the featured article below from the Irish Examiner!

“Despite what the Liverpool manager said, football isn’t more important than life and death. Life is much more important.”

This was Brendan O’Carroll parting company with Bill Shankly yesterday, all joking temporarily aside at the launch of the ‘Mrs Brown’s Boys FAI Heart Care Programme’, an initiative, funded to the tune of €460,000 by the comedian and his wife Jenny. The aim is to provide cardiac screening for children and adolescents in the National League squads as well as, at grassroots level, training for coaches in CPR and the use of defibrillators.

Comedian Brendan O’Carroll, right, and his wife Jenny with, from left, FAI medical director and senior men’s team doctor Alan Byrne, FAI chief executive John Delaney, and former Longford Town star Sean Prunty at the launch of an initiative to provide cardiac screening to all children and adolescents from the National League squads and train all coaches countrywide in the use of defibrillators, CPR, and basic life support. The O’Carrolls are contributing €460,000 for the initiative. Picture:



The importance of such life-saving measures hit home for O’Carroll when one of his grandsons, playing for his local club, passed out after taking the full force of a ball to the stomach. At the hospital, tests revealed that he had diabetes but, while that diagnosis was clearly more than enough for all concerned to take on board, what really struck his grandfather was how much worse the situation might have been.

“I thought: What if it had been heart failure?” said O’Carroll. “No-one at the ground knew CPR, nobody at the ground knew how to use an AED (automated external defibrillator) and I thought it would be great if there was some way we could get involved to help make sure that small clubs have these or that kids are screened.”

He then learned of the FAI’s plans to extend their work in this area, met with Ireland team doctor Alan Byrne and, upon hearing that a six-year programme would cost the guts of €0.5m, he and Jenny offered to write the cheque.

“We said, if it can be done, we kind of have to,” he explained.

Also at yesterday’s launch was Longford Town legend Sean Prunty, who explained how the introduction of screening for League of Ireland players 10 years ago had uncovered his heart disease. “The reason I’m standing here is Alan Byrne,” he said.

However, Prunty also spoke eloquently of his devastation at the age of 27 to have to give up the game he loved.

“Everyone talks about mental health, but it was an absolute battle,” he said. “There is not a week goes by now when I don’t think how lucky I am, but back then all I wanted to do was play football. Alan allowed me to realise that, if my mother’s front door opens, I’m coming through the door. If Alan hadn’t found my problem, there would be no front door opening and my mam wouldn’t have had me bringing home any washing when I was in college! Now, with this heart screening and training, it’s going to allow young kids of 13, 14, 15 to seize life if they have to retire from sport. After all these years and with young people dying, I’m so happy the screening will be there. Another parent will hear a door open and, whether it’s one kid, it doesn’t matter, one life has been saved.”

Referencing Prunty’s moving testimony, O’Carroll said:

“The next thing we’ll probably get involved in is mental health in sport. That’s our next project. I’m very concerned about players who retire and are left in the wilderness. One thing Sean said: ‘Football is my life.’ That’s terrible. Nothing like that should be your life. You wouldn’t say journalism is your life. Comedy is not my life. It’s my job. If you feel that football is your life and it’s taken away from you, that has to cause mental difficulties.”

As it happens, football remains a big part of O’Carroll’s life. The bug bit during a boyhood summer spent in England, when a relative who worked for Becks Bissell — the “official carpet sweeper to the 1966 World Cup”, no less — got tickets to the opening game, England v Mexico, and brought Brendan to Wembley.

“From then on, I became completely hooked on the game,” he recalled. “Eusebio was my god.”

Back home, he played at a decent level, coming up through the ranks at Home Farm and turning out in the old League of Ireland B division for Bohemians.

“I was a striker,” he said. “I know it’s hard to believe, but I was fast and, actually, I could jump like a flea.”

So, having attended his first Ireland game in 1965, what’s this supporter’s take on the Boys In Green in 2018? Cue, inevitably, the gallows humour.

“The last couple of games we went to, I’d have needed the heart-screening myself. It was sh*te, but listen, that’s the game. You’re up, you’re down. Or in our case, you’re down, you’re f*cking down. I think we invented the phrase ‘mathematically possible’. (Laughs). ‘It’s still mathematically possible for Ireland to do it.’ F*ck off! I don’t want mathematically possible, I want to qualify.”

September is Irish Heart Month!

Tragically, heart disease is the most common cause of death in Ireland. Approximately 10,000 people die each year from cardiovascular diseases (CVD), with 22% of premature deaths being caused by CVD (HSE, 2017).

The World Health Organisation (2018) define Cardiovascular Disease as a group of disorders of the heart and blood vessels including:
● coronary heart disease – disease of the blood vessels supplying the heart muscle;
● cerebrovascular disease – disease of the blood vessels supplying the brain;
● peripheral arterial disease – disease of blood vessels supplying the arms and legs;
● rheumatic heart disease – damage to the heart muscle and heart valves from rheumatic fever, caused by streptococcal bacteria;
● congenital heart disease – malformations of heart structure existing at birth;
● deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism – blood clots in the leg veins, which can dislodge and move to the heart and lungs.

Fortunately, a number of these conditions are preventable. Here at AMS, we are passionate about heart health. As an organisation focused on preventative heart health care we believe in identifying possible health issues and making changes to help people live a healthier life. To support this aim, we provide mobile Cardiac screening to identify any possible CDV triggers giving individuals the knowledge to make changes to tackle this disease head-on.

If you are interested in arranging a preventative health screening call our team oo 1890 300 333 or email us on for more information.

The focus of the World Heart Foundation this year is ‘my heart, your heart’ a message which encourages individuals and communities around the world for focus on the question “what can I do right now to look after my heart… and your heart?” The WHF are campaigning to encourage communities to work together to inspire everyone to make changes to their behaviour which will improve their heart health.

There are several changes that can be made to improve your heart health to reduce the chance of heart disease or stroke. A few of these changes include:
– Eating a healthy balanced diet
– Keep to a healthy weight
– Reduce your alcohol consumption
– Give up smoking
– Be more physically active

To celebrate this year the AMS staff will be focusing on getting up and out of our chairs and staying active. Thursday the 27th September is National Heart Day and we will be celebrating this by going for a team walk around our local area. Why don’t you encourage your friends, family or community to join you in a healthy heart activity?


AMS Featured in Irish Examiner

Advanced Medical Services (AMS) is proud to have been a feature article in the Irish Examiner today, featuring interviews with our CEO, Ed Donovan (pictured), and our Medical Director, Dr. Alan Byrne.



World Diabetes Day

Have you been screened for diabetes? 

The amount of people living with diabetes in Ireland is estimated to total 225,840 (Diabetes Ireland).


Diabetes is a lifelong condition where the amount of sugar in the blood is too high because the body cannot process glucose properly.


Diabetes can develop slowly and with vague symptoms until suddenly you find yourself severely ill.  Symptoms of diabetes can include:

  • increased thirst/hunger
  • dry mouth
  • frequent urination or urine infections
  • unexplained weight loss or gain
  • fatigue/drowsiness
  • blurred vision
  • headaches
  • nausea
  • wounds that heal slowly
  • skin infections


Diabetes has a negative effect on several systems within the human body that impact quality of life and the ability to perform daily tasks, including causing damage to the heart, brain, circulation, eyes, kidneys, and nerves.  In addition to the risk for heart attack or stroke, those with untreated diabetes are at a greater risk for painful legs and feet, infection, loss of limbs, blindness, and kidney failure.


The World Health Organization recommends HbA1c for screening for diabetes.  A glucose test only gives you a picture of what the sugar levels in your blood are at that very moment, often greatly affected by what you have just eaten.  The HbA1c is not impacted by your meals and you do not have to be fasting for the test.  It gives a picture of what the sugar in your bloodstream has been over the course of 3 months, resulting in a much more accurate depiction of your diabetes risk.  HbA1c is a smart choice as part of your routine health screening. Early detection of diabetes saves lives!

Contact our team at for more information on our corporate onsite health screening services or individual health screenings.


Seasonal Flu Vaccination

Flu Vaccination

Influenza or as it’s commonly known as “the Flu”, is a highly contagious virus that can affect the entire body. It is a major cause of illness and absenteeism in Ireland each year. It’s easily spreadable and is contagious even before symptoms appear. Influenza thrives in workplace environments infecting around 1 in 4 people each winter. Vaccinating employees against flu will help to stop the spread of flu at work (thus keeping people productive through winter).

Advanced Medical Services (AMS) provides the seasonal flu vaccination to companies nationwide. Our vaccination service is carried out onsite and is Doctor led. The steps in booking the flu vaccination are:

  • Each employee will be able to make a booking using our online booking engine. This will allow each employee to book an available slot or time that suits them best.
  • The participant will then receive an email confirmation of their appointment which will include information about the vaccine. The participant will also receive a text message reminder the day before their flu vaccine appointment.
  • Each employee is met by a member of our team who will explain exactly what is involved before administrating the Flu Vaccine. The Vaccine will be administered by our Doctor or Nurse and will only take a few minutes per person.

Benefits of Seasonal Flu Vaccination: Being vaccinated is the most effective way to help the body strengthen its immunity against infection and prevent contracting the flu virus and passing it on to others. The vaccination service reduces absenteeism and promotes a healthy workforce.

AMS’s Clinical Services Manager and Advanced Nurse Practitioner recommends the flu vaccine ‘because it is the best way to protect yourself, your loved ones, and your coworkers from the serious symptoms and consequences of Influenza. This year AMS is offering the quadrivalent flu vaccine which provides better and broader coverage for the strains of flu virus that circulate each year.  This type of flu vaccine gives you the best chance at coverage for whichever flu virus might hit this flu season’.

Arranging Flu Vaccination for your Employees: A lead time of 4-6 weeks can be required for booking so early booking is essential.

Contact our team on 1890 300 333 or for more information on our seasonal flu vaccination or about our other onsite health screening services.

‘It can be hard to spot a concussion, but we’re hoping to change that’

The faster pace of games, more intense tackling, and the bulking-up of players pose a greater risk of concussion, writes Dr Alan Byrne.

Dr Alan Byrne

AS THE REPUBLIC of Ireland’s team doctor and as Medical Director of the FAI and of Advanced Medical Services, the prevention, diagnosis and management of concussion among sportspeople is something I feel very passionate about.

The signs and symptoms of concussion are not always evident at the time of the injury which is a challenge and one of the biggest dangers and risks posed to players, especially amateur and under-age players who don’t have the same level of medical expertise available to them as elite and professional players.

International research and a growing body of evidence from domestic sports suggests that sports-related concussion is a significant problem. A number of developments in Irish sport such as faster pace of games, increased and more intense tackling, and the bulking-up of players pose a challenge for sporting organisations, schools and players alike.

However, thankfully, we are seeing a more proactive approach to managing and reducing the risks of sports-related concussion.

As Medical Director with Advanced Medical Services, we felt there was a real need for a concussion evaluation and management programme for amateur and underage players. Schools and sports clubs across Ireland could greatly benefit from the medical support and expertise provided by our new service Concussion Management system, which is endorsed by the IRFU.

Helping those who may have suffered a concussive episode

ImPACT is designed to bring peace of mind to those who may have suffered a concussive episode and ensure they continue to follow correct rest and recovery protocols.

The service includes performing a baseline neurocognitive test which is done ideally at preseason. The test take approximately 30 minutes and includes the recording of the participant’s verbal memory, visual memory and reaction times. The software used is considered the most scientifically validated computerised concussion evaluation software and has tested over 8 million people.

In the event that a player has suspected concussion at some stage following their baseline test they will be seen by one of our team of doctors for a post injury test and clinical evaluation.

The goal of our service is to ensure that we manage each player’s concussion individually ensuring they don’t return to school, work or to the playing field too soon.

Concussion is an issue that needs to be taken seriously by all those involved in sport, at all levels.

So what is concussion?

Concussion is a brain injury and in its simplest form can be described as a disturbance of brain function. Concussion can be caused by either a direct blow to the head, face, neck or elsewhere on the body with an impulsive force transmitted to the head.

There are many symptoms of concussion, common ones being headache, dizziness, memory disturbance or balance problems. Loss of consciousness, or being ‘knocked out’, occurs in less than 10% of cases and loss consciousness is not required to diagnose concussion.

Who is at risk?

Concussion can happen at any age. However, children and adolescents (18 and under) are more susceptible to concussion, take longer to recover, have more significant memory and mental processing issues, are more susceptible to rare and dangerous neurological complications including death caused by a single or second impact – as are those who have a history of previous concussions, and who may take longer to recover.

Tips on how to recognise concussion

If any of the following signs or symptoms are present following an injury the player should be suspected of having a concussion and immediately removed from play or training.

The visible clues of a suspected concussion are a player who is: lying motionless on the ground, is slow to get up, unsteady on their feet, experiencing balance problems or is falling over, is grabbing or clutching head, has a dazed, blank or vacant look, is confused or not aware of plays or events, has a suspected or confirmed loss of consciousness and/ or a loss of responsiveness.

As the saying goes – ‘if in doubt, sit them out’.

Dr Alan Byrne is the Republic of Ireland’s team doctor and is the Medical Director of the FAI and of Advanced Medical Services.

To learn more about Advanced Medical Services concussion service ImPACT visit or call 1890 300 333.

IRFU Supports ImPACT for Amateur And Underage Players

AMS launch ImPACT – a Neurocognitive Concussion Tool

From left to right: Barry Fitzpatrick, St Michaels College, Dr Rod McLoughlin, Medical Director, IRFU, Ed Donovan, CEO Advanced Medical Services (AMS), Donncha O’Callaghan, Munster & Ireland Rugby player, Scott Penny, St Michaels College

IRFU supports use of ImPACT for amateur and underage players

Advanced Medical Services (AMS) today announced the launch of ImPACT (Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing), a neurocognitive tool for the identification of prolonged concussive symptoms, for amateur and underage sports players.

The computerised neurocognitive evaluation system, already used by elite sportspeople, will be available to schools and clubs across all sports and delivered by the Advanced Medical Services medical team.

The tool provides an accurate assessment system to identify prolonged concussive symptoms and can help to alleviate player or parental concerns in relation to rest and recovery following concussive episodes.

Internationally, ImPACT is considered the most scientifically validated computerised concussion evaluation system and has been tested on over 8 million people.

ImPACT Concussion Management System involves a 20 minute computerised neurocognitive test which has been scientifically validated to measure neurocognitive abilities related to brain function from which the data is recorded. The initial test is often referred to as the baseline test. This test will be available to rugby club and schools players at a cost of €50.

Ed Donovan, CEO of Advanced Medical Services, which also operates the ‘Heartaid’ cardiac programme that has carried out over 51,000 screenings, said:

“In Ireland we are seeing a more pro-active approach to managing and reducing the risks of sports-related concussion. The signs and symptoms of concussion are not always evident at the time of the injury and the ImPACT system is designed to bring peace of mind to those who may have suffered a concussive episode and ensure they continue to follow correct rest and recovery protocols.”

The IRFU’s head of Medical Services, Dr Rod McLoughlin said: “The IRFU’s post-concussion return to play protocols are among the most conservative in the world to ensure that amateur players are fully recovered before they return to play or train.

We are pleased to support AMS’ launch of ImPACT testing as an additional service for those amateur players who wish to use it.

While the system will never be used to reduce the minimum mandatory return to play timelines of 21 days for adults and 23 days for players under 20 years of age, it can be useful to those with ongoing symptoms to ensure that the player is not, for example, returning to school, work or the playing field too soon.”

Following a suspected concussion the player will undergo a post injury test where the data is compared against the baseline test result.

Medical doctors who are trained and experienced in concussion management will also carry out a clinical assessment of the player and advise on a safe return to play.

[su_box title=”BOOK YOUR SCHOOL OR CLUB IN TODAY!” box_color=”#04bab3″]Call: 1890 300 333 or email[/su_box]

Former Meath captain Shane McAnarney shows the scar of the heart surgery which saved his life

Former Meath captain Shane McAnarney has revealed the extent of the serious cardiac condition that has forced him out of Gaelic football for good.

McAnarney, who is recovering from a double bypass operation he underwent eight weeks ago, was told that his heart could have stopped at any time due to the exertions involved in being an elite sportsman.
Damage to the wall of one of his blocked arteries appeared to confirm that the 2012 Leinster final captain had even suffered a mild heart attack at some stage, which went undetected.

“The one (artery) that was blocked completely, there is damaged tissue around the wall, so I did have a slight heart attack at some stage that I didn’t realise or know about,” he said.
McAnarney underwent surgery after two blocked arteries were discovered last July, following routine cardiac screening of the Meath squad in April.

He admitted he was lucky that such a programme was in place for him to avail of and has implored other players to take up the opportunity.

He also paid tribute to the Gaelic Players Association, which has met the