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Hi-tech heart monitors for stroke patients at Dorchester hospital

By jspiteri  |  Posted: February 08, 2013

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Stroke patients being treated at Dorset County Hospital can now be monitored more effectively thanks to funding from the South West Stroke Research Network.

The Network, which co-ordinates and supports studies into stroke, has provided £5,500 to fund two state-of-the-art cardiac monitors for the hospital's Stroke Unit.

The equipment can be worn by patients discretely as they go about their daily lives and collects information about their heart rhythms which can help prevent them suffering a stroke.

Clinical Stroke Lead Dr Harald Pröschel: "These devices will help improve the detection rate of atrial fibrillation (AF), which causes a fast and erratic heartbeat.

"With traditional monitors we can only monitor people for 24 to 48 hours at a time which doesn't necessarily pick up the cardiac rhythms we are looking for. These new devices can monitor a patient for up to 32 days and you can program them to find very specific heart rhythms.

"AF can cause severe, disabling strokes and we hope, through detecting the irregular heart rhythms, that we can prevent these from happening. There is also the added benefit that it will allow us to enter eligible patients into clinical trials."

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