A YOUNG Nelson woman, who was diagnosed with congenital complete heart block at birth, is delighted that innovative technology is allowing her to perform her own check ups.
Rachael Precious (20), of Sansbury Crescent, was given a pacemaker at just 15-months-old, after her heart, which should have been beating at 80 beats per minute, was actually beating at 40.
While the pacemaker has helped her to live a “normal” life for the most part, Rachael was expected to attend Manchester Royal Infirmary every three months for check ups
This meant that she would often have to endure a 30-mile journey, which, using public transport, could take up to two hours. While at school, she would also miss some of her classes.
Now, thanks to a new Medtronic CareLink monitor, Rachael, a case worker in MP Andrew Stephenson’s office, has been given even more independence, and may only have to visit the hospital once every year. All she has to do is send the data from her check up straight to the team at the Manchester Heart Centre, who will then access it via the internet.
If there is ever a problem, which was the case for Rachael in July, the team are alerted and are able to contact the patient immediately.
Rachael, a former Nelson and Colne College student, who lives with her mum, Janet, said: “The pacemaker sorts everything out, and allows you to live a normal life. My pacemaker got put in in 1993, and I have had two replacements.
“At my last replacement in February, I got given a CareLink monitor, which means I can now do my own checks.
“It is really easy to use and it means I don’t have to take an entire day out of my life going to Manchester.
“I have only used it once so far, but in the future it is going to help. It means that I might only have to go to hospital once every year now, rather than once every five months.”
Since Manchester Royal Infirmary adopted the new technology in 2008, 1,000 patients with cardiac devices are now monitored from home.
Stuart Allen, principal cardiac physiologist at the Manchester Heart Centre said: “The team at the Manchester Heart Centre are delighted that we are able to offer our patients the ability to be monitored at home.
“We are passionate about continuing to utilise this kind of technology to improve the care of patients with heart problems and are now working with device companies to allow as many patients as possible to benefit.”