Southend Hospital surgeons implant life-saving heart device

Southend Standard: Roy Harrington with consultant cardiologist Dr Sajjad Mazhar and (l to r) cardiac day stay deputy manager Katie Schirn, senior chief physiologist Katy Deane and principal physiologist Nikki Baines. Roy Harrington with consultant cardiologist Dr Sajjad Mazhar and (l to r) cardiac day stay deputy manager Katie Schirn, senior chief physiologist Katy Deane and principal physiologist Nikki Baines.

SOUTHEND Hospital surgeons have, for the first time, implanted a defibrillator into a man with a rare heart problem.

The delicate procedure saw a Swiss-made titanium device inserted into the chest of Roy Harrington who was found to be suffering from a life-threatening heart condition following a stroke.

The remarkable device is able to detect any potentially lethal change to the heart rhythm and deliver a shock to make the heart reverts back to a safe and steady pace.

Mr Harrington, 58, was completely unaware he had a heart problem until he had a stroke a year ago. He had suffered no symptoms and had no family history of heart disease. He made a good recovery from the stroke and it was only in subsequent tests that he discovered he had dilated cardiomyopathy – deterioration of the heart muscle.

The father-of-three of High Road, Benfleet, said: “I did get a bit breathless but just put that down to being a bit out of condition. ”Other than that I had no symptoms at all.

“The stroke was just like the adverts and not very pleasant. My speech started to slur but if a stroke can be lucky then I am very lucky because they wouldn’t have discovered the heart problem otherwise. I could have just collapsed with a heart attack.”

The device has been inserted beneath the skin near Mr Harrington’s collar bone, The procedure, which took about an hour, was performed by Dr Sajjad Mazhar with the help of senior physiologists Nikki Baines and Katy Deane.

Mr Harrington added: “It is a wonderful piece of kit – just about the size of a small box of matches and weighs about the same as a cup of tea.

“I did not think I needed it but the doctors felt I did so I was guided by the experts. It is going to be a life-saving measure.

“There was no pain with the procedure. I just felt a bit of pressure and I would certainly recommend it to anyone who is told they need it.”

Hours after having the device inserted, Mr Harrington a retired Southend Council worker, was able to go home to his wife, Andrea, 49 and three sons aged 16 to 22.

He said: “I went into hospital for the procedure just five days after my assessment and everyone has looked after me very well.”

Until now, patients requiring this service have had to go either to a London hospital or to the cardiac care centre at Basildon.

Ms Baines said: “From a patient’s point of view, it is much better to be able to have it done here and not have to travel. “We expect to carry ou t 22 procedures in the first year, increasingly steadily after that.”

 

*IMPLANTABLE cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs) continuously monitor the heart to treat tachycardia - fast heart beats - and prevent sudden cardiac death. If a dangerously fast heart rate is detected, a small, painless electrical signal is sent to correct it.

If the faster heart rate continues, the ICD is designed to deliver a life-saving shock and restore the heart to a more normal rate. They differ to pacemakers which continuously monitor the heart to treat bradycardia - a slow, irregular, or interrupted heartbeat.

If a pacemaker detects a rhythm problem, it will send out small, undetectable electrical signals to correct it to restore the heart to a more normal rate but they do not deliver shocks.

Amy Greenhalgh, spokeswoman for the manufacturers Medtronic said: “Having the implant means that patients are not reliant on being near a telephone or someone trained in first aid if the heart suddenly starts racing. The device will automatically kick in to regulate the heart rhythm.”

Comments (9)

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3:52pm Fri 9 Nov 12

Olivia2847 says...

Excellent news - something worthwhile and innovative from Southend - for a change .......
Excellent news - something worthwhile and innovative from Southend - for a change ....... Olivia2847

8:13pm Fri 9 Nov 12

humps says...

Good for you Mr Harrington and what excellent work carried out by the team at Southend Hospital. It's really good to hear that things can turn out well, and success can be achieved.
Good for you Mr Harrington and what excellent work carried out by the team at Southend Hospital. It's really good to hear that things can turn out well, and success can be achieved. humps

10:10pm Fri 9 Nov 12

southendshrimper says...

great news, well done to all the medical staff involved. Good luck to Mr Roy Harrington hope you are well. No doubt some people will still find something to complain about this story.
great news, well done to all the medical staff involved. Good luck to Mr Roy Harrington hope you are well. No doubt some people will still find something to complain about this story. southendshrimper

7:59am Sat 10 Nov 12

Brunning999 says...

Sorry hardly news something that should be a routine procedure what is all the fuss about a hospital doing what other hospitals do on a regular basis.

What was news this week is the anniversary of the first heart transplant not an every day procedure.
Sorry hardly news something that should be a routine procedure what is all the fuss about a hospital doing what other hospitals do on a regular basis. What was news this week is the anniversary of the first heart transplant not an every day procedure. Brunning999

10:43am Sat 10 Nov 12

norfolkbroad says...

It is wonderful stories such as this which should remind us how good the NHS is and how we should vote out this government which is so determined to privatise it. Southend Hospital is EXCELLENT and we should all make sure it stays that way.Best wishes to Mr. Harrington and congrats to the team!
It is wonderful stories such as this which should remind us how good the NHS is and how we should vote out this government which is so determined to privatise it. Southend Hospital is EXCELLENT and we should all make sure it stays that way.Best wishes to Mr. Harrington and congrats to the team! norfolkbroad

4:39pm Sat 10 Nov 12

Brunning999 says...

norfolkbroad wrote:
It is wonderful stories such as this which should remind us how good the NHS is and how we should vote out this government which is so determined to privatise it. Southend Hospital is EXCELLENT and we should all make sure it stays that way.Best wishes to Mr. Harrington and congrats to the team!
That's news to me the Government is trying to privatize the NHS I hardly think that is true, there is not a company in the world that would take the NHS over.

It is not a wonderful story it is a story that is happening in many countries in the world, why there is a group of people celebrating what in most hospitals in this country and abroad is an everyday occurrence beats me.

The NHS is great the people will never allow it to be privatised. And no Government would survive the attempt to privatise.

Southend is not a excellent and using words like that for any hospital is OTT Southend hospital is a hospital doing a good job, providing health care for all and that is what the aims of the NHS is all about and hopefully remain emphasizing what should be normal is ridiculous.
[quote][p][bold]norfolkbroad[/bold] wrote: It is wonderful stories such as this which should remind us how good the NHS is and how we should vote out this government which is so determined to privatise it. Southend Hospital is EXCELLENT and we should all make sure it stays that way.Best wishes to Mr. Harrington and congrats to the team![/p][/quote]That's news to me the Government is trying to privatize the NHS I hardly think that is true, there is not a company in the world that would take the NHS over. It is not a wonderful story it is a story that is happening in many countries in the world, why there is a group of people celebrating what in most hospitals in this country and abroad is an everyday occurrence beats me. The NHS is great the people will never allow it to be privatised. And no Government would survive the attempt to privatise. Southend is not a excellent and using words like that for any hospital is OTT Southend hospital is a hospital doing a good job, providing health care for all and that is what the aims of the NHS is all about and hopefully remain emphasizing what should be normal is ridiculous. Brunning999

4:58pm Sat 10 Nov 12

Conor Harrington says...

This is my dad who had te operation im conor harrington, since the operation he has a new lease on life, he can now rest knowing that this piece of kit will be looking after him and is now the dad we all used to know thanks for your kind comments and

Brunning if you had gone through what we have you would not e saying sumthing that will in the future save my dads life
This is my dad who had te operation im conor harrington, since the operation he has a new lease on life, he can now rest knowing that this piece of kit will be looking after him and is now the dad we all used to know thanks for your kind comments and Brunning if you had gone through what we have you would not e saying sumthing that will in the future save my dads life Conor Harrington

8:21am Sun 11 Nov 12

Brunning999 says...

Conor Harrington wrote:
This is my dad who had te operation im conor harrington, since the operation he has a new lease on life, he can now rest knowing that this piece of kit will be looking after him and is now the dad we all used to know thanks for your kind comments and

Brunning if you had gone through what we have you would not e saying sumthing that will in the future save my dads life
I am very pleased for your Dad, do not ever assume you know what someone else has gone thro without knowing the truth you do not! that is exactly what the BBC have been doing for years and I am pleased to say are now paying the penalty for.

With regard to my comment I repeat this is an every day occurrence in many hospitals and should be treated as a normal operation, everytime we have a tonsils operation do we have celebrations and congratulations? The answer is no.

Every time we have celebrations like this we are falling into the trap of praising politicians and hospital managers when the truth is that it should be:

Expected

We pay billions for our health care and we should expect the best in every aspect, and we do not need to have celebrations at what is normal health care.

Southend hospital is good not excellent and there is always a need for more money for improvement and for keeping up with modern advancements in health care.
[quote][p][bold]Conor Harrington[/bold] wrote: This is my dad who had te operation im conor harrington, since the operation he has a new lease on life, he can now rest knowing that this piece of kit will be looking after him and is now the dad we all used to know thanks for your kind comments and Brunning if you had gone through what we have you would not e saying sumthing that will in the future save my dads life[/p][/quote]I am very pleased for your Dad, do not ever assume you know what someone else has gone thro without knowing the truth you do not! that is exactly what the BBC have been doing for years and I am pleased to say are now paying the penalty for. With regard to my comment I repeat this is an every day occurrence in many hospitals and should be treated as a normal operation, everytime we have a tonsils operation do we have celebrations and congratulations? The answer is no. Every time we have celebrations like this we are falling into the trap of praising politicians and hospital managers when the truth is that it should be: Expected We pay billions for our health care and we should expect the best in every aspect, and we do not need to have celebrations at what is normal health care. Southend hospital is good not excellent and there is always a need for more money for improvement and for keeping up with modern advancements in health care. Brunning999

8:08am Mon 12 Nov 12

norfolkbroad says...

Southend Hospital IS excellent and you can ask anyone who has had lifesaving treatment there. This Government ARE trying to hive off our NHS in dribs and drabs to the private sector - Wake Up!
Southend Hospital IS excellent and you can ask anyone who has had lifesaving treatment there. This Government ARE trying to hive off our NHS in dribs and drabs to the private sector - Wake Up! norfolkbroad

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