Leeds hospital in UK first heart op

Consultant cardiologist Dr Mike Blackburn
Consultant cardiologist Dr Mike Blackburn
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A LEEDS heart specialist is today (Feb 14) set to carry out a pioneering procedure on two young brothers in a first for the UK.

The youngsters will become the first in the country to benefit from a miniscule new type of heart rhythm monitor.

The state-of-the-art equipment will allow doctors to discover whether the brothers have a potentially serious heart problem.

Consultant cardiologist Dr Mike Blackburn will conduct the operation at Leeds General Infirmary to insert a monitor the size of two matchsticks under the skin in their chests. He said: “It’s particularly appropriate this procedure is being carried out on St Valentine’s Day and I hope these devices will help with a quick diagnosis for these two brothers.”

The tiny monitors have never before been used in children, with the Leeds unit – which has been at the centre of a number of controversies over its future – leading the way.

Once in place, the miniaturised monitors will continuously and wirelessly send information about the youngsters’ heart rhythm back to LGI.

If they show any symptoms, such as fainting, the monitors will record irregularities.

Dr Blackburn said: “The breakthrough with this device is how small and versatile it is, and that is a particular advantage for young patients.

“As well as being around 20 per cent of the size of conventional monitors, the device has the advantage that it can be placed just beneath the skin, meaning it is as quick and painless as possible to fit and also is not noticeable once in place.”

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