Improving the follow-up care of patients with pacemakers and other heart rhythm devices is the focus of new research by PhD student Bradley Pitman.
As a Cardiac Physiologist at the Royal Adelaide Hospital, Bradley works with patients every day to scan their heart and check their pacemakers, so it was a natural extension to focus his research on ensuring these patients receive the best ongoing care.
“It’s good to be able to use my clinical skills to design research projects that provide beneficial information to help patients, given my interest and care that I have for these patients on a daily basis,” Bradley said.
“I greatly appreciate the support of Australian Heart Research and The Hospital Research Foundation* for my PhD so I can make a real difference to the care of these patients.”
Bradley is taking a multi-pronged approach to improving care, with his research spread across a couple of different areas.
One area focuses on the care patients with pacemakers receive they present to the emergency department; while another analyses the performance of a new type of pacemaker technology called ‘His bundle‘ pacing with the hope it can be adopted as standard care.
His bundle pacing is a new way of pacing reported to have less strain on the heart compared to existing conventional ways, which can affect the heart’s pumping muscle.
“His bundle pacing has become more popular over the past few years,” Bradley said.
“The type of patients who are candidates for His bundle pacing is anyone with a slow heart rhythm that requires pacing to maintain their rhythm, particularly those that need high-burden pacing (constant pacing).
“I will be using a new imaging tool called global longitudinal strain to measure and analyse the pumping function of the heart muscle for those patients.
“Assuming our data supports improved pumping function with this device, it will consolidate His bundle pacing as standard of care for all patients.”
This research will provide important insights into the future care of heart arrhythmia patients. We look forward to keeping you updated.
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*Australian Heart Research is a charity of The Hospital Research Foundation Group.