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Innovative new device a perfect fit, manages deadly heart condition

Cardiac patient Jamie Dornan has survived sudden cardiac arrest. Twice.

The first time, she collapsed unexpectedly at her college, and was revived by a defibrillator wielded by a paramedic. The second time, thanks to the Central East Regional Cardiac Care Centre, a defibrillator implanted near her rib cage saved her life.

Dornan, 18, is susceptible to an irregular heartbeat, or arrhythmia. Specifically, she experiences episodes of ventricular fibrillation (VFib), where her heart beats so quickly it quivers and doesn’t pump. There is then no blood moving from the ventricle and the heart stops functioning. This leads to sudden cardiac arrest (SCA), and an individual at this stage only has minutes until death. Also known as the “silent killer,” as there are few to no warning signs, 85 to 95 per cent of those who have an SCA die before they get to hospital.

After Dornan’s first episode of SCA, she was referred to the Central East Regional Cardiac Care Centre, located at the Centenary site of Scarborough and Rouge Hospital (SRH). The Centre offers the only comprehensive cardiac arrhythmia program in the Central East Local Health Integration Network (Central East LHIN). After an initial assessment, she was referred to cardiologist Dr. Amir Janmohamed as a potential candidate for an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD), designed to shock an irregular heartbeat back into a normal rhythm.

Residents invited to education sessions

February is Heart Month, and the Central East Regional Cardiac Care program is celebrating with two heart health education events for the community.

As a leading provider of cardiovascular services, the regional program is committed to partnering with the community around heart health. The program includes the designated cardiac care centre for Scarborough and Durham, located at the Centenary site of Scarborough and Rouge Hospital (SRH), where life-saving and life-changing regional services are provided — including catheterization procedures and arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat) treatment and management. The program also leads the regional cardiovascular rehabilitation service, which is offered at 14 community sites from Scarborough and Durham Region, to Peterborough and Campbellford.

February 8, 2017

Peterborough, ON -- February is Heart Month, and the Peterborough Sport & Wellness Centre is celebrating by holding a community education event in partnership with the Central East Regional Cardiovascular Rehabilitation Service. Residents are invited to the Centre on Thursday morning, February 16 to come have a “heart to heart” about their cardiovascular health.

“Heart Month is a perfect opportunity to learn about cardiovascular wellness, as well as rehabilitation services available here in the community. If you want to improve the quality of your heart health, we are here to help,” says Jennifer Bell, Program Coordinator, Peterborough Sport & Wellness Centre

Community members will have the chance to hear from a cardiologist and dietitian from the regional cardiovascular rehab service, as well as about the experience of a local cardiac patient, and get a tour of the facility from Sport & Wellness Centre staff.

by Jane Kitchen 

The Central East Regional Cardiovascular Rehabilitation Service, which offers individually-customized education and exercise training to nearly 4,000 patients a year, has significantly enhanced support for patients with congestive heart failure.

Heart failure occurs when the heart is not pumping as strongly as it should, causing the body to not get the right amount of blood, oxygen and nutrients it needs to work properly. This can result in leg swelling, shortness of breath, fatigue and a reduced quality of life. In fact, heart failure is the leading cause of hospitalization for the elderly in Canada.

Patients with heart failure receive excellent care across the region from family physicians, specialists, hospitals and specialized clinics. The Central East Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) supports this excellent care through its ongoing investment in the regional cardiovascular rehabilitation service. This service develops self-management skills to help patients who are dealing with cardiovascular disease get on track to a heart-healthy lifestyle, and reduce their risk of future heart attacks, death or hospitalization. Now, it has been expanded with a congestive heart failure (CHF) enhancement.