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Mini ECG for heart monitoring
Doctors of the first time on Tuesday implanted a newly approved miniature ECG device directly on the heart of a patient. This is to continuously record heart activity. Monitoring with an ECG normally takes place in patients who are suspected of having irregular and irregular heart rhythm disturbances. The device from Medtronic, which has just been approved for the market, weighs no more than two grams and is roughly the size of three matches.
One advantage of this tiny device is that patients no longer have to undergo surgery. It is sufficient if the EKG recorder with a special device is placed directly under the skin on the left side of the patient's chest. A local anesthetic is sufficient for this procedure and it does not take longer than a few minutes. So that the device can reliably do its job, two electrodes on the recorder record the cardiac currents. The mini-device can independently recognize and save cardiac arrhythmias for three years. The only difference from a stationary device used in hospitals and doctor's offices is that the signals are only stored on one channel and not, as with the large ones, on twelve. The 78-year-old patient Horst Brömmer reports to the world that nothing should be felt from the intervention.
"In the beginning it was a bit tweaked, but I didn't notice much else about it." For this purpose, the data on his cardiac activities will be recorded automatically every 24 hours via a device in his bedroom and sent to his treating doctor via a modem. The advantage of this device is obvious. The doctor can find deviations from the normal heart rhythm at any time, even if he is far away from his patients, and contact him in case of disorders. He receives reliable data at all times as to whether the heart is still in time.
"If the patient suddenly feels uncomfortable, he can hold the reading device on the recorder immediately and send it to his doctor at the push of a button," explains Prof. Stephan Willems, Director of the Clinic for Cardiology with a focus on electrophysiology at the University Heart Center UKE.
The new mini-device will be used in patients who complain of symptoms of an irregular heart rhythm, such as dizziness, heart stumbling, fainting fits and chest pain. After treating atrial fibrillation, the device can also be used to monitor therapy. "It is also conceivable to use it after a stroke, for which the cause is unknown, because a large part of these strokes could be triggered by atrial fibrillation," the cardiologist told the world. (fr)
Picture: Medtronic GmbH