Are you aware of the fact that currently people who have pacemakers and implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs) are unable to undergo a MRI scan? The reason being that the MRI Scan relies on magnetic field that may heat up or cause a shock to the metal leads that could lead to failure of these devices. This is why these people had to rely on X-rays and Ultrasound, which often led to delay in diagnosis.
This has changed with a heart implant that allows the patients to undergo MRI Scans and costs £20,000. The gadget is available on the NHS. The gadget is being called the Evera MRI SureScan and shall allow the doctors to carry out MRI for any part of the patient’s body, even the heart. The gadget was developed in the US over a decade and comes equipped with special software that protects the ICD from the magnetic field that are caused by the MRI.
Before a scan, doctors can make use of a wireless laptop in order to program the ICD which measures only 2” in length and stops it from detecting any normal heart rhythm that may occur during this time. The gadget, however, does cost about twice the amount when compared with the conventional implant.
Penelope Wybrow, 41 years old and a resident of canal boat in Hillingdon, North-West London after receiving the implant says; ‘I feel I could live for ever now. It’s given me complete peace of mind. Before, I was scared of taking any exercise or even picking something up – I couldn’t live my life to the full. But this is like having my own personal paramedic, which will respond faster than an ambulance and restart my heart. It also means doctors can perform an MRI, which is vital because they can check if my condition is getting worse and give me treatment at the earliest possible stage. Without it, I would have been able to have an X-ray, for example, but these don’t give such a clear and detailed picture.’
Dr Mason who carried out the operation for Penelope Wybrow said: ‘This device means patients can undergo MRI scans, which are the now the gold standard for diagnosing life-threatening or disabling conditions such as spinal problems. Thousands were denied these scans before, which led to delays in diagnosis and treatment. The NHS will also potentially save money through people being diagnosed earlier.’
This new gadget may seem insignificant to many of us, but its a huge relief for patients using heart implants.