Photo: (L-R) Dr Vikrant Nayar (Consultant Cardiologist at The Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust) with Gregory Marshall (patient) and Dr Fraser Smith (Junior Doctor at The Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust).
A nineteen year old man has become the very first patient to receive a wearable external defibrillator known as a ‘LifeVest’ at The Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, and one of only twelve patients in the UK who are currently being treated this way.
Gregory Marshall, 19, was referred by his GP and admitted to Pinderfields Ambulatory Care Unit over eight weeks ago with breathlessness. He was managed by the Cardiology team on Gate 31 who identified the cause - a rare underlying heart condition that could lead to life-threatening fast heart rhythms.
After reviewing several options for Gregory’s ongoing treatment and considering the potential for Gregory’s condition to improve, Dr Nayar and his team looked into options to protect Gregory from dangerous heart rhythms before deciding on the LifeVest.
The LifeVest is worn by patients at risk from sudden cardiac arrest (SCA). The lightweight wearable defibrillator is worn under clothes and looks like a fishing vest that connects to the body via electrodes. It comes with a laptop-sized battery. If it detects a dangerous abnormal heart rhythm, the vest alerts the patient by sounding alarms that become louder and louder.
Dr Vikrant Nayar, Cardiology Consultant, at The Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, said: ‘The LifeVest defibrillator is ideal for Gregory whose heart condition presents a significant risk of life-threatening arrhythmia. Unlike an implantable defibrillator, the LifeVest is a temporary measure, which will bridge the period until Gregory’s heart hopefully recovers.’
The LifeVest will allow Gregory to return to his normal daily routine while having the peace of mind that he is protected from sudden cardiac arrest.
Gregory said; “The LifeVest has really helped to relieve some of my worries about the risk of suffering a sudden cardiac arrest following concerns after my dad’s sudden death last year, due to heart failure. I’m finding the LifeVest really easy to manage. Hopefully, with the continuing support and investigation work into the cause of my heart condition by the Cardiology team at Pinderfields Hospital, my heart will fully repair and I’ll be able to help others identify the symptoms of this heart condition.”