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LHSC Implants First Device Which Continuously Monitors Heart Rhythm for Atrial Fibrillation

(LONDON, Ontario) - Dr. Lorne Gula and Dr. Allan Skanes, cardiologists at London Health Sciences Centre, were the first in North America to implant an insertable cardiac monitor (ICM), which offers long-term and continuous monitoring of atrial fibrillation (AF).

“Canadian cardiac patients now have access to long-term, continuous monitoring of atrial fibrillation,” said Dr. Lorne Gula, who implanted the device on March 20, 2008. “Patients with AF will now have additional peace of mind, knowing they are being monitored 24 hours a day, every day for up to three years, providing me with detailed information which I can use in decisions regarding their treatment.”

AF is the most common cardiac arrhythmia, yet diagnosis can be difficult as episodes often have no symptoms and therefore go unnoticed by patients. However, the risks are well known: AF can lead to a two–to-seven times higher risk of stroke, and an increased risk of heart failure if rapid heart rates persist undetected for long periods of time.

Developed and manufactured by Medtronic, the new Reveal® XT insertable cardiac monitoring device is the next generation in cardiac monitoring originally developed by Dr. George Klein, cardiologist at London Health Sciences Centre, jointly with Medtronic more than 10 years ago with the Reveal® Insertable Loop Recorder.

"It's a good feeling to know that the device is monitoring my condition," said Gregory Thorp, 52, the first patient to receive the device.  "I feel very lucky to be able to take advantage of this new cutting edge technology."

About London Health Sciences Centre

London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) is one of Canada’s largest acute-care teaching hospitals and is dedicated to excellence in patient care, teaching and research. LHSC has pioneered many national and international medical breakthroughs. Located in London, Ontario, LHSC encompasses three sites, South Street Hospital, University Hospital and Victoria Hospital; two family medical centres; and the London Regional Cancer Program. LHSC is the home of the Children’s Hospital and CSTAR (Canadian Surgical Technologies & Advanced Robotics). LHSC is affiliated with The University of Western Ontario. Physicians and staff at LHSC number more than 9,000 and together they provide care for more than 1 million patients last year.

For more information contact:

Mitra Foroutan, Communications Consultant

Corporate Communications and Public Relations

London Health Sciences Centre

519-685-8500, ext. 74772


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