Taranaki woman Susan Mundt (43) was the first recipient in New Zealand of the world’s smallest cardiac monitor at Waikato Hospital this morning.
Ms Mundt underwent the procedure in one of Waikato Hospital’s new catheterisation laboratories and said while she was feeling “a little nervous” before the procedure, that it was over in a matter of minutes and just hours later she is feeling “completely normal”.
Experienced cardiologist Dr Clyde Wade used the miniature Medtronic Reveal LINQ™ Implantable Cardiac Monitor, which is capable of wirelessly diagnosing potentially dangerous irregular heartbeats, for two procedures this morning.
As someone who has been extremely fit, running Taranaki’s Mountain to Surf marathon event in March this year, Ms Mundt also has a history of experiencing short palpitations every six weeks with associated dizziness.
She is heading home to Stratford later today and said she will be able to don her running shoes as early as tomorrow.
Ms Mundt said the monitor will record what is going on in her heart and hopefully diagnose the reason she is experiencing the palpitations and dizziness.
Dr Wade says it will help clinicians in their efforts to help prevent the high number of arrhythmia-related events, including cases of death in New Zealand, through detection and appropriate treatment of heart rhythm disorders.
Without appropriate diagnosis and treatment, the effects of undetected or misdiagnosed heart rhythm disorders can be fatal and occur without warning.
Clinicians will use the new insertable cardiac monitor to detect minute changes in a patient’s heart rhythm by continuously monitoring, recording and storing data inside the device for up to three years.
In addition, due to its wireless monitoring capabilities, physicians can get notifications quickly if patients need medical attention between regular appointments.
A lack of awareness of heart rhythm disorders in the medical community means they often go unrecognised or are misdiagnosed.
According to group Arrhythmia Alliance, one such disorder, known as syncope (or fainting), can be caused by an underlying cardiac condition yet is often misdiagnosed as epilepsy meaning people receive medication to treat epilepsy[i] rather than their heart condition.
Alternately, atrial fibrillation (AF), the most common heart rhythm disorder, which may result in stroke, is often intermittent. This can make it difficult for a clinician to confirm a diagnosis.
Through appropriate use of ICM technology, there is an opportunity to prevent a high number of arrhythmia-related deaths in New Zealand.
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