The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

UK first as cardiologist inserts tiny heart rhythm monitors into two young brothers

14 February 2014

Leeds General Infirmary has become first hospital in the country to use a new miniaturised heart monitor with child patients.

In a procedure on Friday 14 February, Leeds Teaching Hospitals consultant paediatric cardiologist Dr Mike Blackburn insert a monitor - around the size of two matchsticks - into the upper chest of two young brothers, Ethan and Kyle Roper, aged 8 and 7, in a short procedure undertaken at Leeds General Infirmary, one of the UK’s leading cardiac centres.

The Medtronic Reveal LINQ Insertable Cardiac Monitor is the smallest implantable cardiac monitoring device available. It is new to the UK and so far has only been used on a handful of adult patients.

The technology will allow Dr Blackburn and his colleagues to continuously and wirelessly monitor irregularities in the youngsters’ heart rhythm and help identify if further action is needed. The children concerned have a family history of cardiac problems and have been referred to hospital with recent symptoms relating to this.

Dr Blackburn commented: “Heart monitors which help diagnose irregularities with a patient’s heartbeat have been used for many years in both adults and children, but 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% 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.

“It will automatically transmit any unusual heart activity wirelessly to a secure system that can be accessed instantly by the heart team. This means we can continuously monitor the patient’s heart before during and after fainting to identify whether the problem is heart-related.

“As 14 February is popularly associated with affairs of the heart 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.”