Marina Baixa offers new stroke detection device

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THE regional hospital of the Marina Baixa is to implement a new system to detect undiagnosed strokes using the ‘Implantable Holter’ device, which continuously monitors and records the patient’s heart rhythm, advising when an abnormality is detected.
Exhaustive studies have been carried out into the causes of cryptogenic stroke yet its causes are still unknown. Thirty per cent of ischemic strokes, the most common, fail diagnosis, therefore the cause remains a mystery leaving medical professionals without a means to prevent new episodes occurring.
What is known is that stroke invariably occurs in the presence of arrhythmia, therefore the possibility to monitor the heart rate for extended periods will allow a better chance of achieving a diagnosis in the early stages.
The Holter is implanted under local anaesthetic near the collar bone and remains in place for around two years. Readings are taken via an external transducer which is placed on the skin.
After heart attacks, stroke is the leading cause of death in women and the second for men in Spain and the leading cause of physical disability for adults.
The Marina Baixa Hospital treats approximately 300 strokes per year, mostly patients over 60.

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