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Mini EKG: The smallest ECG of a patient is used

Mini EKG: The smallest ECG of a patient is used

Mini EKG saves lives

09.03.2014
The smallest ECG in the world was used for a woman in Aichach, Bavaria. With this mini EKG, doctors can easily and permanently monitor the patient's heart rhythm. Cardiac arrhythmias can cause a stroke and therefore the new device can be vital.

Smallest ECG in the world A 59-year-old woman from Egenhofen, Bavaria, in the Fürstenfeldbruck district, has now been fitted with a mini heart monitor in the Aichach hospital, as the Augsburger Allgemeine reported. The patient, who suffered from irregular heartbeats, often had to deal with symptoms such as dizziness, arm pain or nausea. With this medical novelty that Dr. Eimo Martens, the doctor can monitor the heart rhythm of the patient Kerstin Landgraf easily and permanently. According to the clinics at the couple, it is the smallest ECG in the world.

Hundreds of thousands with cardiac arrhythmia Ms. Landgraf had long felt neglected by medical professionals and said: "I have been to different doctors since 1993 and it was always said that everything was fine." Like the head of the department for internal medicine and cardiology at the clinics at the couple in Aichach and Friedberg, Dr. Heiko Methe said he had heard similar stories of suffering many times. In Germany, several hundred thousand people suffer from cardiac arrhythmias, which in the worst case could also be responsible for a stroke. The heart rhythm is recorded on a conventional EKG machine for up to seven days. But Methe explained that doctors often could not record the disorders. In recent years, doctors have therefore started to use patient event recorders that permanently record heart activity. These devices, which are about the size of a lighter, are used under local anesthesia under the skin next to the breastbone.

Intervention takes five to ten minutes This previously complex operation has become much easier with the new mini heart monitors, which are only a third the size of an AAA battery. And so Martens explained that he only made a small incision to push the mini EKG under the patient's skin. The whole procedure only takes five to ten minutes and the patients could leave the clinic on the same day. The doctor used the device for the patient at the end of February and now a transmitter sends her data every evening to the clinic, where Martens evaluates it. The transmitter is a small device in the patient's home that is wirelessly connected to the mini EKG. The older, larger event recorder had to be read with another device every three months in the hospital.

Diagnosis possible much faster Martens talks about the advantages of the new device: "If the patient has a cardiac arrhythmia with the mini heart monitor, we can now make a diagnosis much faster than before and also initiate adequate therapy." According to him, it costs the intervention, including home care, is around 2,800 euros and is paid for by the health insurance company. Since the battery of the mini EKG lasts up to four years, the patients can be monitored over a long period of time. The device can also be removed with a little intervention. Patients with an implanted mini-EKG could even be examined on an MRI or MRI if necessary and without having to remove the device. (ad)

Picture: Medtronic GmbH

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