‘Like a 24-hour safety net – it’s alleviated my worries.’ That’s the verdict of a Kent shop owner who has become the first patient in the country to receive a new type of implantable heart monitor.
Sarah Brett, who runs a shop in Hythe, was fitted with the Biomonitor IIIm at the William Harvey Hospital as part of investigations into what is causing her high blood pressure.
The device, which is about seven centimetres long, is implanted under the skin and continuously monitors her heart rhythms, sending readings back to the medical team.
Sarah, who is 55, said: “Knowing I have the device has alleviated my worries – it feels like the hospital team are doing the worrying for me and I feel very assured that if anything untoward was discovered I would know about it.
“It is like a 24-hour safety net.
“The actual procedure to fit it was completely pain free, just a sensation of pressure. I was very anxious about how it was going to feel but I needn’t have worried. There was a very professional and relaxed atmosphere in the room and it was all very quick and efficient.”
The implant has a longer battery life than previous monitors, and can be left in situ for five years. It is fitted by specially trained staff from the cardiology department at East Kent Hospitals.
Patients have a separate device they press over the implant which captures the data and sends it to the hospital team for review.
Sarah said: “They did call me on the second day I submitted the readings to ask me to adjust my medication so I feel very reassured that they are looking after me.
Under my skin
“I can feel the device under my skin but most of the time when I am just getting on with my day I forget it is there.”
The monitor was fitted by senior chief cardiac physiologist Adam Marzetti, who said it had several benefits for patients.
He said: “We have used injectable devices for a while but the battery life is usually three years. On this device it will last for up to five years, which improves our ability to monitor people for slow, fast, or irregular heart rhythms for a longer period of time.
“It is also much more sensitive when detecting irregular rhythms so the chances of us being able to record these are higher than other devices.”