10 minute heart procedure saves lives
13 August 2019
A diagnostic heart procedure which takes less than ten minutes is helping to prevent heart attacks and strokes and allowing consultants at Southend University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust to treat more patients with complex conditions.
The fitting of a LinQ implantable loop recorder (ILR), is
carried out by Physiologists at Southend Hospital's Cardiac Medical
Day Stay Unit, a procedure which was previously done by consultant
cardiologists in the Cardiology Catheterisation Laboratory (Cath
Physiologists have been fully trained by Dr Sajjad Mazhar to
insert the implantable loop recorder (ILR) just below the skin of
the chest in a quick and simple outpatient procedure under local
ILRs provide continuous heart rhythm monitoring for three years
when activated and will store up to 49.5 minutes of heart
monitoring information or Electrocardiogram (ECG). If the device
detects irregular rhythms or problems with the heart, it will send
information remotely to the hospital and the patient will be
invited for further checks.
By moving this procedure out of the lab, the implantable loop
service has become much more efficient, allowing more patients to
be treated as the procedure takes less time. It has so far saved
Southend Hospital more than £150,000 which allows more consultant
appointments to be made.
Nikki Baines General Manager and Principal Physiologist
said:"The implantable loop recorder is useful for monitoring and
checking whether the heart is going too fast or too slow. The
beauty of these devices is that they can be implanted for three
years and we've got more chances of picking up symptoms early and
prevent serious health problems like a heart attack or stroke."
"It's a bit like having an MOT really. We basically treat as we
find. Depending on what the loop detects, this could lead to a
change in medication or having another device such as a pacemaker
implanted. It might be that the heart is fine and whatever may be
causing the symptoms may not be coming from that area. The
procedure is quick and not too invasive. Once we are done, we give
the patient a cup of tea and toast and half an hour later, they are
ready to go home."
Patients are less anxious, as the physiologists demonstrate the
benefits of the home-monitor and implantable loop device.
Nikki Baines said: "We are also the training centre for
implantable loop recorders and have helped set up services across
the country. We have been supporting our physiologists' colleagues
at Mid Essex Hospital as they are in the process of starting a
Notes to editors:
Photo caption: Rebekah Green, Ward Sister, Zoe
Heath, Chief Physiologist, John Freed, patient, Nikki Baines,
General Manager / Principle Physiologist and Josh Peck, Chief