Mak­ing life eas­ier for heart pa­tients

Bay News - - NEWS - Car­di­ol­ogy Clin­i­cal Nurse Man­ager Ja­son Money acts as the ‘pa­tient’ as car­diac nurse Adri­anne Es­condo and car­diac phys­i­ol­o­gist Tracey Cum­ming demon­strate where the pro­ce­dure is car­ried out in a non-theatre en­vi­ron­ment.

An award-win­ning Aus­tralasian first at Tau­ranga Hos­pi­tal means faster ac­cess for pa­tients need­ing long-term heart­mon­i­tors im­planted.

Cer­ti­fied nurses car­ry­ing out im­plantable loop recorder (ILR) pro­ce­dures is com­mon­place in the UK, but Adri­anne Es­condo has be­come the first Aus­tralasian nurse to do the same.

Car­diac Catheter Lab­o­ra­tory (Cath Lab) nurse Adri­anne has per­formed 20 of the pro­ce­dures, which car­di­ol­o­gists tra­di­tion­ally per­form in theatre.

And the ben­e­fits of the nurse-led ini­tia­tive were re­cently recog­nised with a Car­diac So­ci­ety of Aus­tralia and New Zealand (CSANZ) award.

“It’s free­ing up our the­atres and car­di­ol­o­gists to con­cen­trate on more spe­cial­ist pro­ce­dures such as pace­maker, ICD (im­plantable car­dioverter-de­fib­ril­la­tor), CRT-D (car­diac resyn­chro­niza­tion ther­apy de­fib­ril­la­tor) im­plants and coro­nary an­giog­ra­phy.

Those pa­tients are be­ing seen much sooner as are the pa­tients need­ing an ILR,” said Adri­anne, who be­came cer­ti­fied to in­sert ILRs last year.

ILRs are small heart mon­i­tor­ing de­vices im­planted just un­der the skin in the chest. It takes about 3-5min­utes to im­plant the heart mon­i­tor in the pa­tient’s chest in a low-risk pro­ce­dure un­der lo­cal anaes­thetic.

The recorders are typ­i­cally used for pa­tientswith un­ex­plained heart pal­pi­ta­tions, sud­den light-head­ed­ness, dizzi­ness or faint­ing that are sus­pi­cious of ir­reg­u­lar heart rhythms. Car­di­ol­o­gists use in­for­ma­tion cap­tured on them to de­ter­mine di­ag­no­sis and de­velop a treat­ment plan.

Adri­anne said per­form­ing the pro­ce­dure in the Day Stay area rather than theatre was also hav­ing a pos­i­tive im­pact on pa­tients.

“For some the prospect of go­ing to theatre raises anx­i­ety lev­els, es­pe­cially when the heart’s in­volved. There is com­fort in hav­ing the pro­ce­dure done in a non-theatre en­vi­ron­ment,” he said.

The idea of a car­diac nurse per­form­ing the pro­ce­dure stemmed from the UK.

Sev­er­alNHS hos­pi­tals have car­diac nurses in­sert­ing the long-term heart mon­i­tors.

Tau­ranga Hos­pi­tal’s Cath Lab opened 18 months ago.

The BOPDHB pre­vi­ously oper­ated a shared ser­vice and an in­de­pen­dent Cath lab.

De­scribed as a one-stop shop for heart pa­tients, around 1600 car­diac pro­ce­dures in­clud­ing in­sert­ing pace­mak­ers, de­fib­ril­la­tors and stents, have been per­formed on­site.

That has boosted car­diac pro­ce­dures by 20 per cent and has re­duced the need for pa­tients to travel to Waikato for these spe­cial­ist ser­vices.

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