Every year, hundreds of patients from across the Interior of British Columbia suffer urgent, life-threatening complications arising from irregular heartbeats, known as arrhythmias.
Arrhythmias greatly impact a person’s quality of life and carry with them an increased risk of sudden cardiac death.
What is Arrhythmia?
- You heartbeat is fast, too slow or irregular
- Your body may not get the blood it needs
- You may get dizzy or faint
- Your heart may feel like it flutters
Currently all of our heart arrhythmia patients are sent to one of the three hospitals in the province who treat their heart beat disorder in an Electrophysiology (EP) Lab.
An Electrophysiology Lab at Kelowna General would bring emerging advanced technology to diagnose and treat abnormal heart rhythms using minimally invasive procedures, right here at home. In addition to immediate access, an EP Lab would bring new medical expertise to the Okanagan Valley. Annually, two highly skilled Cardiac Electrophysiologists will perform 450 electrophysiology procedures.
While most patient procedures will be cardiac ablations, 150 implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICD) procedures will save the lives of high-risk patients.
What is Cardiac Ablation?
- Procedure to correct an abnormal heart rhythm
- Catheters inserted into the heart emit energy (hot or extreme cold) causing misfiring cells to die
- When the heart muscle cells die, the abnormal rhythm stops, and the heartbeat returns to normal
What is an Implantable Cardioverter-Defibrillator (ICD)?
- Prevents sudden cardiac death by fixing an abnormal heart rhythm
- Battery-powered device placed under the skin of the chest with wires (leads) that go into the heart
- Corrects dangerous rapid and disordered heart rhythms painlessly by ‘overdrive pacing’ or shocking the heart back into rhythm
The EP Lab is targeted to treat heart rhythm patients beginning the summer of 2020.
When we save the life of a patient because of the equipment that donors have provided – it is like they are in the operating room with us as part of the team.”
– Dr. Guy Fradet, Cardiac Surgeon and Medical Director, Interior Health Cardiac Science Program