Update on the Defibrilladies

dladies derby mileIn EP Lab Digest®’s September 2012 issue, we featured an interview with members of the ICD patient support group known as the “Defibrilladies” from North Shore Medical Center (NSMC) at Salem Hospital in Salem, Massachusetts. Debra Halligan, RN, BSN, CCDS is the Clinical Leader of the Pacemaker/ICD Clinic at Northshore Medical Center, and Eileen Morris is the originator of the group.

We recently received this update from Debra Halligan, RN, BSN, CCDS:

“On August 16, 2013, two nurses from NSMC participated in the Derby Street Mile in Salem. What makes this so special is they crossed the finish line with three of their “Defibrilladies” who have been training for six weeks to complete this race. Lisa Cammarata, Paulina Villaroel-Cruz, and Donna Michaud are proud finishers of the Derby Mile. All three women are founding members of the Defibrilladies, a young women’s ICD support group. Deb Halligan, RN and Eileen Morris, RN have enjoyed watching the evolution of these women, from victims of heart disease to survivors living with heart disease.”

For more information regarding the Defibrilladies, please contact Deb Halligan at dhalligan@partners.org.

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Evaluation & Management of the AFib Patient

scpcIn EP Lab Digest®’s August issue, Philip Beckley, PhD, Atrial Fibrillation Clinical Specialist with the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care (SCPC), speaks with Benjamin A. Steinberg, MD about an upcoming White Paper entitled “Evaluation and Management of the Atrial Fibrillation Patient: A Report from the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care.” Dr. Steinberg is from the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine and Department of Medicine at Duke University Medical Center and Duke Clinical Research Institute.

SCPC is an international not-for-profit organization committed to leading the fight to eliminate heart disease as the number one cause of death worldwide. Their mission is to develop and share quality practices that optimize the care and outcomes of patients with acute cardiovascular disease worldwide through innovative cross-disciplinary processes and education that bring science to the bedside. SCPC is fulfilling its mission to reduce cardiac-related deaths by giving facilities the opportunity to improve their processes and outcomes for patients through Atrial Fibrillation Certification.

The White Paper will be included as a special insert with our upcoming September issue, which will be available soon!

PLSVC: Literature Review

LiemIn EP Lab Digest®’s August 2013 issue, authors L. Bing Liem, DO, Steven S. Lee, MD and Zachary Q. Umlauf, MS from El Camino Hospital in Mountain View, California, describe a scenario associated with increased difficulty in the placement of a right ventricular lead, especially when a right ventricular apical position is desired. A 67-year-old male was referred for implantation of an ICD; they were proceeding with their usual approach using a lateral left subclavian venous entry when a large persistent left superior vena cava (PLSVC) was identified. Since a right-sided approach was not feasible, they decided on a left-sided entry and use of a left ventricular lead delivery system to facilitate entry into the right ventricle. Check out the article for more information about this interesting case!

In February 2013, Antonio Navarrete, MD, FACC, CCDS and Louis Janeira, MD, Indiana University Health and Providence Medical Group in Terre Haute, Indiana, presented a case of Wolff-Parkinson-White (WPW) in a patient with PLSVC. The peculiar characteristics of this rare congenital vascular anomaly regarding catheter ablation are reviewed in the article. Drs. Navarrete and Janeira note that the true prevalence of PLSVC is unknown since the vast majority of cases are asymptomatic. However, it has been reported to occur in the general population in 0.3-0.5% and up to 12% if another congenital heart abnormality is present.

In 2008, Ronald W. Kidd, BSN, RCIS from Oklahoma Heart Hospital in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, also provided information on some of the more unusual cases seen at his EP lab, including images of cases involving patients with PLSVC. He writes that one of the most interesting surprises that can be seen in the EP lab is PLSVC. He notes that in such cases the patient usually does not present with any associated symptoms that would cause the physician to consider the existence of this anomaly — it is often only discovered during the placement of a central line, pacemaker or ICD.

Helping EP Patients in Need

In EP Lab Digest®’s new August issue, cardiac electrophysiologist Raymond Kawasaki, MD discusses the partnership between Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital and the Illinois/Indiana chapter of Healing the Children. Since 2007, the EP program at Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital in Barrington, Illinois has had a relationship with Healing the Children, a non-profit organization dedicated to uniting needy children with providers who donate time and services to address their healthcare needs. Healing the Children, which has 13 other chapters nationwide and many international partners, has been providing medical care to children in need for over 30 years. Check out their recent collaboration to extend care to three teenagers from El Salvador!

Over the years EP Lab Digest® has showcased several medical mission trips, programs, and advocacy groups that benefit patients with cardiology- and electrophysiology-related conditions. To learn more about some of the available medical mission programs and groups, visit these links to see just a few that have been featured in our journal:

Preemptive Love Coalition

Caribbean Heart Menders Association

Healing Hearts with Hope

Heartbeat International

Yucatan Pediatric Electrophysiology Program

Keep up the great work everyone! In addition, if you would like your medical relief program featured in EP Lab Digest®, please contact us!