Residents of the British Virgin Islands now have the option of seeking medical attention for Wolff Parkinson White (WPW) syndrome at home.
Medical Director at the Bougainvillea Clinic Dr Heskith Vanterpool said his private hospital has once again created history in that regard.
“We successfully cured an abnormal heart rhythm called Wolff Parkinson White (WPW) syndrome. Dr Mahendra Carpen with his team successfully performed ablation of an accessory electrical pathway in a patient’s heart that was responsible for causing frequent, periodic [and] dangerous attacks of tachycardia,” he said at a celebratory event to mark the first anniversary of the Dr Kendall Griffith Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory last Saturday.
He said during such attacks, the patient’s heart suddenly starts beating at 160 to 200 beats per minute, causing a drop in blood pressure, a feeling of faintness and occasionally loss of consciousness.
“Each such attack lasts from several minutes to several hours and could eventually lead to a heart attack or death,” Dr Vanterpool said.
The Medical Director saud the WPW syndrome and other forms of supraventricular tachycardia — a term used to describe a type of faster-than-normal heartbeats — is seen when a patient is born with an ‘abnormal electrical wiring’ of the heart.
He explained: “The abnormal electrical pathway is dormant most of the time but from time to time becomes active causing the attack of very rapid palpitations. The location of the abnormal pathway was carefully identified, and a brief attack of the palpitations was induced and terminated. The doctor was then able to carefully interrupt the pathway with radiofrequency energy.”
We are doing well
In the meantime, Dr Vanterpool said, since the opening the catheterization laboratory, they have consistently provided a high quality of cardiology services in BVI.
The procedures are done by Dr Mahendra Carpen, who visits the territory on a monthly basis from Guyana.
“We have now done 69 cases of coronary Angiograms. Of these, some 25 patients needed angioplasty and stents to open critically blocked arteries. Additionally, four patients with multiple critical blocked arteries have been referred for cardiac surgery,” Dr Vanterpool said.
“In addition, we have inserted cardiac pacemakers, intracardiac defibrillators and we have drained large pericardial effusions, (fluid in the sac around the heart) with great relief of heart failure symptoms.”