KGH First in Ontario to Use GPS-like Technology in Cardiac Procedures

Published on: 2015/02/02 - in Featured Science & Tech

Kingston General Hospital is the second hospital in Canada, and the first in Ontario, to be using a new medical technology for patients with heart rhythm disorders.

MediGuide Technology is similar to the global positioning systems (GPS) used by drivers to know their vehicle’s location on a map. It enables the KGH medical teams to see real-time, three-dimensional pictures of the exact location of catheters and tools as they are inside the heart.

“This technology provides a high degree of detail and accuracy during image-guided procedures for heart rhythm disturbances such as atrial fibrillation or ventricular tachycardia,” said Electrophysiologist and Director of the Heart Rhythm Service, Dr. Damian Redfearn. “The GPS-accuracy potential is second-to-none. For our cardiac patients and their families, this means that their procedures are optimized for success.”

Located in KGH’s newly-designed, $4.5-million electrophysiology lab, the technology initiated patient treatment in September and celebrated its official opening this past week.

“While we’ve been able to complete these highly-specialized cardiac procedures at KGH for some time, our equipment and rooms were located in different areas of the hospital,” said Dr. Redfearn, in the hospital’s News Room release. “Patients had to be transported from room to room, which was inefficient and, infrequently, their procedures could be subject to rescheduling if an operating room was required for an emergency case,” he says. “Because the EP lab is dedicated to completing these specific procedures, we can provide patients with more efficient and rapid care.”

One of the first patients to receive treatment from Dr. Redfearn and his team at the new lab was Dan Bone, 71.

Diagnosed with ventricular arrhythmia, a life-threatening condition that affects heart function and ventricular tachycardia, Bone required surgical ablation to restore his heart rate (of between 140-200 beats per minute) to a normal rhythm.

“I was reassured when I saw the highly-professional team, the lab and all the brand new equipment,” said Mr. Bone. “I felt at ease knowing that I was in good hands and appreciated that my team members took the time to explain what was happening to me throughout.”

Bone’s heart rate is now stable and he is reported to be enjoying a better quality of life. “I’ve not had an arrhythmia since. My heart rate is predictable and I’m back to doing the things I enjoy,” he said.

400-plus patients are expected to undergo treatment for heart rhythm disorders in the lab this year.

The lab will also serve as a demonstration site for professors, physicians, cardiac technologists and scientists visiting from across the world. Kingston General Hospital reports that the lab was facilitated in partnership with Jude Medical and made possible through capital investment from KGH, along with industry funding and generous support by the William James Henderson Foundation and patrons of the 2011 KGH Black Tie Evening, through University Hospitals Kingston Foundation.


Photo source: KGH News Room