New injectable monitor: helping John Flynn cardiologists unlock the answers
Oct 30, 2015
Cardiologists at John Flynn Private Hospital are leading the way in syncope management by implanting the world’s smallest cardiac monitor.
The Medtronic Reveal LINQ implantable cardiac monitor is capable of wirelessly diagnosing potentially dangerous, irregular heart beats and is used to disarm the ‘ticking time bomb’ for those Australians who live unknowingly with chronic heart conditions.
Without appropriate diagnosis and treatment, the effects of undetected or misdiagnosed heart rhythm disorders can be fatal, and occur without warning. The new injectable cardiac monitor is implanted to aid clinicians in detecting changes in a patient’s heart rhythm by continuously monitoring, recording and storing data in the device for up to three years. In addition, physicians can be notified quickly if patients need medical attention between regular appointments, an advantage for patients living in remote locations.
Dr John Meulet, Cardiologist at John Flynn Private Hospital, has now helped over 30 patients using the LINQ device and said, “this new implantable loop recorder is a technological breakthrough. We have had similar devices in the past but they were 90% larger and required a prolonged surgery to implant with variable monitoring accuracy.”
“The new device can be implanted via a painless injection in less than a minute and has excellent heart rhythm recording fidelity. The diagnosis of heart rhythm problems is now infinitely easier.”
Of these patients where LINQ has been used, Dr Meulet has found a diagnosis for fainting or palpitations quickly. Six of these patients have gone on to have a Pacemaker or Implantable Cardiac Defibrillator implanted, a life saving device in each case.
Placed just beneath the skin’s surface through a small incision of less than 1cm, the monitor (which is about one third of the size of a AAA battery) is nearly invisible to the naked eye in most patients. For the patients the benefits include: Minimal scarring; Minimal pain; Fast recovery; Short hospital stay (day surgery); High patient satisfaction.
40% of Australians will suffer a syncopal event in their lifetime and cardiac syncope carries a 6 month mortality rate of greater than 10%, and doubles the risk of death. This condition can be costly for the Australian health system, but with the LINQ cardiac monitor physicians like Dr Meulet are able to deliver the gold standard of care to these patients.
The Fast Track LINQ Program
At John Flynn Private Hospital, Fast Track LINQ is one option for a group of patients requiring this procedure. There are many causes of syncope – dizziness, fainting etc and it can occur in the young right through to the aged. For those wishing to expedite the diagnosis process, the Fast Track LINQ procedure can be performed on the same day as their consultation in the Cardiologist’s rooms. This can be of specific benefit for the young – one less day off work, or for the dependent, one less day off work for their carer.