A patient has become one of the first people in the country to have a tiny heart monitor injected straight into his body.
David Baldock’s heart rate will now be continuously |monitored for up to three years to check for irregular rhythms and other potential problems.
It took doctors at Eastbourne District General Hospital less than two minutes to insert the device just beneath the skin of the 68-year-old’s chest.
Mr Baldock, from Uckfield, is part of a trial to assess how often patients experience irregular and often abnormally fast heart rates.
The new heart monitor, called the Reveal LINQ ICM, is significantly smaller than other traditional heart |monitors and is nearly invisible to the naked eye once it is inserted.
It will constantly monitor the patient’s heart rhythm |and capture and store an |electrocardiogram reading automatically, according to settings programmed by the doctor.
East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust consultant cardiologist Nikhil Patel said: “Until now patients had to undergo a 20-minute procedure to insert a heart monitor.
“This new device, which is about the size of a hairgrip, can be inserted in a couple of minutes without the need for wires or patches outside the body.
“Its main benefit for patients is that it is very discreet.
“We can continuously monitor the patient’s heart before, during and after fainting to enable doctors to identify whether unexplained fainting is heart-related.
“As a cardiologist, I am quite concerned about the risks and complications of unexplained fainting and abnormal heart rhythms.
“This new device may |eventually enable GPs to fit a heart monitor making it |simpler for patients leaving hospital cardiologists more time to manage more complex heart related disease.”
Unlike other devices, the |new monitor, made by Medtronic, is also not affected if patients need to have an MRI scan.