8th January 2019, Chennai: The team of cardiac experts at Kauvery Hospital’s Sudden Cardiac Death Prevention Programme (SCDPP), Chennai led by Dr. A B Gopalamurugan, Senior Consultant Interventional Cardiologist and Chief of Electrophysiology and SCDPP, successfully implanted a Subcutaneous Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (S-ICD)* in an 18-year-old boy from Chennai – the youngest patient in India to be fitted with the device, thereby preventing sudden cardiac death in this young boy who was found to be at high risk at SCDPP at Kauvery.
Doctors at Kauvery Hospital saved the life of the 18-year-old boy who had an episode of loss of consciousness leading to significant head injury. He was assessed in other leading hospitals before being correctly diagnosed at Kauvery Hospital for assessment. Through a protocoled approach, he was assessed at the SCDPP at Kauvery Hospital where he was discovered to have a life-threatening heart electrical condition called arrhythmia which needed immediate intervention. It was indeed the lethal arrhythmia that caused the loss of consciousness ion that young boy. His health condition could cause electrical problems in the heart which might lead to sudden cardiac death, and the best way to prevent this is with an ICD which will help regulate his heart.
“Conventionally, these defibrillators which are well known to prevent death from heart electrical problems have been fitted only inside the body, which is inside the vascular system, through an operation. But this comes with its own problems, because the device is within the blood vessel and heart during the entire life span of the patient and places the patient at high risk of infection, reoperation, device extraction risks and radiation” explained Dr. A B Gopalamurugan who led the surgery. “In the case of the 18-year-old boy, rather than the normal ICD, which utilizes wire leads inserted directly into the heart through a large vein, we used the S-ICD system which was implanted not inside his chest, but outside the chest wall cavity just under the skin. Which means that the young boy is not going to be put through the risk of infection and recurrent invasive surgeries or heart injury, but still gets the benefit of the defibrillator that saves his life.”
The 18-year-old boy and his family are extremely glad that what was deemed a life-threatening condition has now been treated and more importantly able to have a normal quality of life with the best treatment currently available anywhere in the world.
“We are proud to have achieved the landmark of completing the defibrillator implant on India’s youngest recipient and also South India’s first Subcutaneous ICD device. This case is yet another fine example of how Kauvery Hospital is fast emerging as a preferred destination for cardiac care, particularly for performing complicated world class implants such as the S-ICD,” said Dr. Aravindan Selvaraj, Executive director, Kauvery Hospitals. “At Kauvery, we have a dedicated ‘Sudden Cardiac Death Prevention Programme’ with renowned specialists who have a wealth of experience in dealing with patients who have a family history of sudden cardiac death or anyone who have suffered an episode of loss of consciousness or anyone who us diagnosed of an abnormal heart. They can go through an extensive internationally acclaimed screening program and find the right treatment at Kauvery Hospital.”
*The ICD is a small electronic device connected to the heart, used to continuously monitor and help regulate potentially fast and life-threatening electrical problems within the heart.