Remote pacemaker service wins praise
A SERVICE that helps to save lives has won an award for Kettering General Hospital’s Cardiac Investigations Department.
The remote pacemaker service provides early warning of patients with potentially serious heart problems.
And the service providers scooped a Silver Award at this year’s Heart Rhythm Congress for the way in which specialist staff can be alerted to abnormal heart problems in patients, without the need for them to travel to hospital.
Currently, the hospital is supporting 400 patients in the community who have remote pacemakers and there are two types of device which are followed up remotely:
One is implanted into patients with heart failure and works to synchronise the two sides of the heart.
The second is implanted for patients who suffer from very fast life-threatening rhythms and can shock the heart back to a normal rate.
These devices have the capacity to transmit all the information they record directly to the hospital via a wireless transmitter in the patient’s home. The data is collected and interrogated by a computer and staff are alerted if there are problems.
Often, there are early warning signs that a heart is beginning to deteriorate, days or weeks before a patient will notice them. It is these warnings that the pacemakers are able to detect and relay to the hospital which can then prevent a serious complication.
Cardiac Investigations principal physiologist, Sean Thuis, said: “We established this service in 2011 and have been working to improve and extend it ever since.
“We started by monitoring just a few patients, but that has now risen to more than 400 and is set to expand every year as we implant more of these devices.
“The remote pacemaker transmits the record of a patient’s heart activity direct to a database that automatically warns us of any abnormalities.
“We can also detect abnormal heart rhythms which would have otherwise caused strokes and falls if they had been left to be followed up in a traditional clinic setting, where patients may be followed-up routinely on an annual basis.”
The award was received by Leanne Kelly, senior chief cardiac physiologist, on behalf of the pacing team – Senem Burun, Matt Dilkes, Heather Goodes, Seb Jones, Kelly O’Sullivan and Jonathan Squire – who are all senior or chief cardiac physiologists at the Kettering hospital.
Above – LIFE-SAVER: Principal Cardiac Physiologist Sean Thuis and Senior Chief Cardiac Physiologist Leanne Kelly with the award.