THE PAD Monthly – Cardiology, Arrhythmia and Pacemakers Newsletter

THE PAD Monthly – Cardiology, Arrhythmia and Pacemakers

I thought I would post some of this months Newsletter so that people can see what they are missing out on! Remember you can subscribe using the links in the side bars on all my pages πŸ™‚
I will not be posting my newsletters every month so you will need to subscribe!
ENJOY!

Welcome! To THE PAD Monthly – Edition 1 – Numero Uno – October 2013.

Editors letter,
Great! I offered a monthly newsletter and had no idea what I was going to put in it – nice work Carl! I have wheeled that Trojan Horse straight in and didn’t consider the consequences!
So firstly a big thank you for subscribing to the newsletter you have officially been there since conception! I guess now it is down to me to make sure that you don’t regret it!
Developments with T.H.E. P.A.D.
A few months ago I started the website after growing concerned over the complex and often inaccurate pacemaker information on the internet. Whilst it is true that there are some excellent information sites run by professionals – it seems to be acceptable for Cardiac, ICD and Pacemaker information to be given out by often well meaning, but misguided people. The accurate information is often sporadic, you can find out about sensing on one website, ICD’s on another and exercise tests on a third. When I myself was studying I found this particularly frustrating.

I want this website to do 2 things! Have an overview of everything Cardiac related and secondly to make this information easily digestible and therefore accessible to people without cardiac training! primarily the patient!

Since starting the website has taken off beyond anything I had expected. As I write this, I have 143 ‘Fans’ on Facebook, 87 Subscribers to the newsletter and over 900 followers on twitter! Whilst I am pretty sure at least half of my twitter followers are Spambots, I am sure that the other half are all genuinely interested and who knows the Spambots might be learning about the heart too.
At this point I would like to ask a favour from you (WHAT MORE?…. YES MORE!) as it stands my website features about 28 Billionth (a guess) on the google search engine when typing in pacemaker/ICD.
Google looks at a few things, but social media and links on other websites that lead to www.thepad.pm are two biggies! So if you like one of my articles then please share it on your social media or post it on your site. You will be giving something invaluable back and it will ultimately help improve the website for your benefit too!

So on to the newsletter!

So a few things were always going to feature and one of them is a note from the Editor (Me) and the other is a list of links to last months website content. I appreciate many of you have read them before… but just in case, they are featured. I have decided to call this zone PADlocks as the this zone will always feature and I love a Pun! Hue’s with me?

Something that imitates a contents page follows shortly…

  • The Pacemaker Pocket – Our monthly pacemaker feature.
  • Survivors Story – A real life story of survival from New Zealand with Kendall Eade whom suffered an out of hospital cardiac arrest.
  • PADlocks – This is here to stay, a list of the months posts.
  • Good Cause of the Month – HASTE Academy.Following Atrial Fibrillation Awareness month, I decided on a cause focusing on educating people to monitor their own pulse and reduce their risk of Stroke through Atrial Fibrillation (A.F.).
  • Award for ‘Impossible to Drop in to General Conversation” This months winner – ARVC (Arhythmogenic Right Ventricular Cardiomyopathy)
  • Fish Up A Tree – It doesn’t belong.
  • App Review – A couple of Cardiology/Medical Apps that could be helpful!
  • Cardiac Facts – Something gentle to start the ball rolling.
  • Wordsearch – Who doesn’t love a word search and it isn’t even that simple!

The Pacemaker Pocket.

Hacking.
 

So You may have read in the news lately that Barnaby Jack (A computer hacker super brain) was due to present a  method of hacking a pacemaker to deliver a fatal shock from within a 50FT radius of the device. Whilst I am sure that no pacemaker recipients proceeded to dig a 51ft Deep Bunker, I am sure that it did make you feel ever so slightly uncomfortable. Barnaby Jack died before he could present his findings and for all you conspiracy theorists out their don’t worry because Chief of Police Elvis Pressley has ruled out any foul play.
So how worried should you be? Well there are exactly 0 deaths by pacemaker hacking recorded to date, this makes it statistically less likely to be your maker than the following – Hippos, Icicles, Vending Machines and Falling out of Bed… feeling more relaxed?!? Well if not there is more good news, an ingenius solution to hand thanks to Rice University (Houston Texas) – who have developed ‘Heart to Heart’ a security system for pacemakers that would use a patients own heart beat as a password for interrogation (pacing talk for transfer of data) to begin.
Essentially an electrode placed on the patient would read a skin surface ECG and this would have to corellate with a real time Egram provided by the pacemaker. Think of this as playing two songs over one another, the beat, rate and rhythm would have to match perfectly and so they would have to be the same song at the same time. If there was a perfect match then the interrogation could begin. VERY VERY HARD TO HACK!
Feeling safer now?
Good πŸ™‚
Survivors Story

On the 28th December 2007, Kendall Eade suffered a sudden cardiac arrest at home in front of her two young sons. Here she tells her story.

“I was at home with my two sons, then aged 6 & 7 when I had my sudden cardiac arrest .  I was 35 years old, reasonably fit and healthy, slim, non smoker, didn’t drink much.  I can’t remember anything of my event, or the weeks leading up to it other than I was walking and suddenly fell face down – there was no pain and no warning signs.  My boys thought I was playing a joke on them and tried, unsuccessfully, to wake me up.  As I was unresponsive, Cullen (7 year old) rang my Dad who told him to call 111 (NZ emergency services number) which he did.  Paramedics and the fire service arrived together 6 minutes later (according to ambulance records).  They worked on resuscitating me for 40 minutes and during that time I was shocked 5 times.  They considered pronouncing me dead after 20 minutes but continued because of the boys and it being just after Christmas. They were not hopeful of a good result.  By the time I was taken to the hospital there were slight signs of hope I was breathing about 5 breaths a minute.  Once at the hospital I was given hyperthermic treatment for 24 hours (a process of cooling the patients core body temperature to help reduce injury to the bodies organs following cardiac arrest).  My family were told not to get their hopes up and during that time they received a phone call preparing them for the worst.  Even if I did pull through they expected I would suffer brain damage.

My first memory is waking in hospital thinking “if that’s what it’s like to die, it’s not that bad”.  Obviously I had been awake prior to know what had happened but I have no recollection of it.  I don’t remember much of my time in hospital but my family and friends were very amused by me.  About 5 days after arriving Dad said I demanded to see a doctor because I hadn’t seen one since arriving!  My cousin had visited me from Auckland, every time he came into the room,  I would be so excited to see him for the first time. He’d leave and come straight back in and I would be so excited to see him for the first time all over again!  
Once I was more stable, I was flown to Auckland Hospital (from Wellington) to get my ICD implanted.  Another hazy memory, except it was very painful for a long time afterwards.
I had my ICD for 4 years before it fired for the first time (and 2nd a minute or so later).  It was a very scary time but I had overdone it mowing the lawns on a hot day so at least I had a reason for it.  Unfortunately it meant 6 months without being able to drive, but better that than the alternative.
In June this year I went for my regular ICD check and was told I had had a cardiac arrest on 7th May at 1am(while I was sleeping).  That really freaked me out, and has been harder to deal with that any of the other episodes.  
I can’t think of anything else to add except to say that they still don’t know what caused my cardiac arrest. 

It was awful for my kids, they still don’t talk about it, but they were treated as heroes by everyone, they got invited to parliament, appeared in numerous newspaper and TV items and were given certificates from Wellington Free Ambulance, so instead of it being a sad time, it was turned into a bit of an adventure.  There is no one person I can thank, cardiac arrest survival is dependent on so many people, I’m just very grateful that they all came together for me.”

Wellington Free Ambulance were instrumental in saving Kendall’s life. It is a partly government funded organisation otherwise dependent on donations. If you would like to make a donation to the Wellington Free Ambulance, please click below.

Donate to Wellington Free Ambulance
Would you like to write for THE PAD?
If you think you have what it takes to make a difficult concept simple… Then contact us at thepadct@gmail.com to discuss. Or you can just go right ahead and write an article and send it to us to see if we would like to publish it! πŸ™‚ 

   
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Good Cause of the Month

Haste Academy combats heart disease and stroke through education and public awareness. Established in 2012, the academy was set up in order to improve public awareness and GP education about conditions that lead to heart attack and stroke. It will orchestrate a public and GP Atrial Fibrillation awareness campaign in 2013, a ‘Help yourself’ campaign which advocates increasing β€˜self awareness’ of common medical conditions that lead to heart disease and stroke. HOW MANY OF YOU TAKE YOUR PULSE REGULARLY? – It could save your life…

Help Fight AF by clicking Here

Award for impossible to Drop into General Conversation…..
*Drum Roll* 
arrhythmogenic right ventricular hypertrophy”

Definition:
Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Hypertophy in plain english means, a thickening of the right main pumping chamber of the heart (Right Ventricle) which has or is at risk off starting some dangerous irregular heart beats (Arrhythmias). 

The risk of being struck by a falling meteorite for a human is one occurrence every 9,300 years!

APP of the MONTH
This App is only for Healthcare professionals. I simply had to feature it though because it is a HUGE reference of anything Pacemaker and ICD. At Β£2.99 you will think it is expensive… until you own it! I am not on commission but I wish I was because once this is more known about… it is going to fly!


Drugs.com

My gran is 95 and would be perfect for this app if only she could work an iPhone! If her medications were delivered yearly they would have to come via a convey of trucks so it is no wonder that despite her support networks best efforts, her medication compliance is poor. This app enables patients to set reminders for when to take medications! More so than that there is a log of possible side effect AND will highlight any interactions between drugs that may have been missed by your doctor! Drug therapy is as reliant on compliance as it is on the drugs themselves… So why not use this app to help you keep track!

Cardiac Facts!

Blood takes about 20 seconds to circulate throughout the entire vascular system!
The electro-cardiograph (ECG) was invented in 1902 by Dutch physiologist Willem Einthoven. This test is still used to evaluate the heart’s rate and rhythm.



WORDSEARCH


F P R Y T X L T A T C D T B W
A I M H T Y H R R A A T V J R
R G B S E U I A X C T E D O M
B E U R B A D I A H H Y Y M P
P C K R I A R R W Y E A T L O
V S O A G L D T N C T E S S T
D A L U M I L O C A E L O I C
D C R K O E I A A R R C X C I
Q B C L Y T C I T D G I O E P
K A O W A R F A R I N R B P O
H G M L Q Q F Z P A O T R A T
Y G B K S E N S I N G N M U C
B A Q Z V G Z U A M M E Z S E
U N J O U R N R G G R V S E M
L E L O T S Y S A S A N V L K


ABLATION ARRHYTHMIA ASYSTOLE
BROAD BRUGADA CARDIOLOGY
CATHETER CORONARY ECTOPIC
FIBRILLATION HEART MODE
PACEMAKER PAUSE SENSING
TACHYCARDIA VENTRICLE WARFARIN

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