Dr Flett has just published a review on Cardiac MRI scanning and heart failure, which you can read here.
In October there was strong faculty representation from University Hospital Southampton with Professor Nick Curzen, Dr James Wilkinson and Dr Melli Mahmoodi all givingstrong-uhs-faculty-at-tct.html talks at this major international meeting in Denver Colorado, USA.
Dr Wilkinson commented on BBC Radio Solent on new NHS England plans to make widespread blood pressure testing available, see here for details. Dr Wilkinson stated that 'Whilst he fully supports more easy access to blood pressure checks he does not think this should be done by the fire service or teachers, who are busy enough already! Ideally this better would be through machines made easily available to the public e.g. in all GP practice receptions, pharmacies, supermarkets and other such public places. The plans would also need resources to educate the public about what to do if blood pressure is raised and to enable GP surgeries to cope with increased demand to deal with this.'
Dr James Wilkinson does "cardiac clinic" on Sasha Twining show on BBC radio Solent on May 31, answering questions from listeners about various cardiac conditions. You can listen to this discussion on various conditions, including treatment of heart attacks and stents, until Friday 30 June by clicking here.
Read article in Southern Evening Echo where Professor Curzen discusses new heart scan technology, which could revolutionise treatment of heart disease. See here.
Dr John Rawlins, a consultant interventional cardiologist, officially joins Wessex Cardiology on 1st April 2017. John has expertise in cardiomyopathy, sports cardiology and screening athletes hearts. John completed a research degree with the world famous Sanjay Sharma at King's College Hospital, London. John is also a TAVI operator and has an interest in complex coronary intervention. You can read more on his profile page here.
On 14th March 2017, at University Hospital Southampton, Dr Flett inserted a new implantable heart rate monitor into the first patient in the UK to have one of these devices outside of a clinical trial. See local news coverage by clicking here. Listen to local radio about this 41 minutes into local BBC radio coverage here.
Read more in the press release here:
SOUTHAMPTON DOCTORS IMPLANT COIN-SIZED HEART FAILURE MONITOR
Cardiac experts in Southampton have fitted a heart failure patient with a revolutionary monitoring device the size of a 5p coin. The wireless CardioMEMS Heart Failure System is a tiny battery-free sensor which is implanted into the pulmonary artery via the groin, charged externally and does not require replacement at any point. It enables clinicians to review detailed, real-time information about patients’ heart rates and artery pressures and make changes to treatment before they reach the point of requiring admission to hospital.
The first procedure was carried out at Southampton General Hospital, part of University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust, by consultant cardiologist Dr Andrew Flett, who called the device a “game-changer”. It is the first time the device, which was implanted in a 53-year-old female patient, has been used in the UK outside of a clinical trial.
Heart failure affects around 900,000 people in the UK and occurs when the heart does not pump enough blood around the body. The condition leads to a number of symptoms – shortness of breath, dry cough, swelling in the ankles and legs, weight gain, increased urination, fatigue and irregular heartbeat – but can be controlled using a combination of interventions including lifestyle changes, medication, pacemakers and surgery.
As changes in the pressure of blood through the pulmonary artery can indicate worsening heart failure before the more commonly-used indirect measures of changes in weight and blood pressure, doctors can take action more quickly to resolve developing problems. However, the current standard of monitoring is carried out using blood pressure cuffs and electronic scales at home or in the clinic, which can result in delays in intervention and the need for hospital admission to resolve a worsening of symptoms.
The CardioMEMS device has been trialled extensively in the US, where studies led by researchers at Ohio State University Heart and Vascular Center found it reduced hospital admissions by 33% over an average of 18 months.
“Patients who receive this implant can send readings to us every day via the internet from their home so we can monitor them and adjust medications immediately – it is a revolution and a very exciting piece of technology,” said Dr Flett.
“The majority of hospital admissions for patients with heart failure occur as a result of a build up of excess fluid in the body which causes increased pressure in the pulmonary artery. This goes undetected until it is too late to treat and the patient ends up needing to be admitted.”
He added: “Being able to monitor pulmonary artery pressure on a daily basis will undoubtedly reduce hospital admissions, improving patients’ quality of life and relieving pressure on hospitals as a result – it is a real game-changer.”
Listen to Dr Andrew Flett discuss heart related issues on the Sasha Twinning show on BBC radio solent. Click here to be taken to website and he is on at 2 hours 10 minutes into show.
Prof Curzen gives interview to discuss CT-FFR at prestigious TCT Conference 2016 in Washington DC, USA. See video below:
Sharon Ansell joined Wessex Cardiology as a new secretary in November. She is a highly experienced cardiac secretary who will take on much of Donna's work allowing Donna more time to manage and develop the business side of the group.
Dr Andrew Flett explains benefit of specialised pacemakers for heart failure in Daily Mail newspaper. Click here to read the article.
Dr James Wilkinson ran a new simulation based training course in Southampton on 29-30 September. The course uses complex simulators to teach people cardiac procedures in a safe environment. The course considerable media coverage including: press releases, local radio coverage (click on link below) and local TV coverage.
See BBC south today interview below:
Listen to radio interview below:
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At the British Cardiovascular Society (BCS) Annual Scientific Meeting at Manchester in June 2016 Iain Simpson was awarded the prestigious Mackenzie Medal for his outstanding contribution to British Cardiology. Pictured here being given his medal by Dr Sarah Clarke, President of the BCS.
Football supporters warned of increased risk of MI (heart attack) in stressful games and urged to call for help quickly if they experience chest pain and not wait until the game finishes! See: http://bit.ly/1U8BOdJ
Dr Benoy Shah, Consultant Cardiologist joined Wessex Cardiology as a partner on 1 April 2016. He brings a wealth of non-invasive imaging expertise, especially echocardiography and all modalities related to this. More detail can be found in his profile on the website.
Dr Wilkinson is the Southampton principle investigator in a national trial investigating a new non-invasive technique to treat high blood pressure. The study is being done locally at the NIHR Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Facility, University Hospital Southampton. It is also being run at a number of other well known UK units. The trial is for people with uncontrolled blood pressure on maximum doses of at least three medications for blood pressure. It is looking at a method of using external ultrasound to reduce the nerve supply from the kidneys, which may lower blood pressure to safer levels. The trial is being run by a US company called Kona. If you would like further information then please contact Caroline Grabau on 023 8120 4989 or email UHS.SouthamptonCRF@uhs.net.
See Dr Flett's article in the Southampton Echo about pacemaker safety by clicking here
Professor Nick Curzen presented new groundbreaking research to show that a single non-invasive test may in the future provide a safe 'one-stop' way to rule out any significant narrowing in the arteries that supply the heart (click here for more information). This was presented at a hot line session at a major international meeting (Euro PCR) in Paris on May 19 2015.
On 11 June 2014 a British Cardiovascular Society response, by Dr Iain Simpson (President of the British Cardiovascular Society), to an open letter concerning NICE draft guidance on statins was published on the BCS website. To read this important statement click here.
Following the release of the results of a large trial in the USA (HTN-3) renal denervation has been suspended in the UK for the time being. The trial suggested that reductions in blood pressure may simply be a placebo effect. As a result the joint British Societies have released a statement recommending a moratorium on all procedures, unless done as part of a trial. This position may well change in the future but for now we are unable to offer this procedure.
Dr Andrew Flett who specialises in heart failure joined Wessex Cardiology on October 1st 2013. In addition to his specialist expertise in heart failure he is experienced in insertion of complex devices (pacemakers, biventricular pacemakers and defibrillators) and cardiac MRI scanning.
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