Sudden Cardiac Death
People who have had a heart attack may be at high risk of dying suddenly from cardiac arrest, even after they receive good treatment for their heart attack. One way to estimate this risk is to measure how strong a patient’s heart pumps with an ultrasound test known as an “echo”. The more severe the damage to heart muscle, the higher the risk. When the risk is high enough, people can be offered extra treatments, including implanted defibrillators, or ICDs.
We recommend that patients should have an echo about 3 months after a heart attack. However, research from the University of Calgary has shown that about half of patients do not end up having the recommended testing done after their heart attack. We do not know the reasons for this, or whether this is true across Canada. The goal of this project will be to measure how many patients have an echo at the recommended time and whether they end up receiving the recommended treatments. The first part of this project will include patients from 10-15 hospitals from different parts of Canada. As part of the study, patients, their doctors, and health system officials will be asked to fill out a survey so we can better understand why some patients may not be getting the tests and treatment they need.
Our long-term goal is to reduce the number of heart attack survivors dying from cardiac arrest. This project is the first step. It will give us a grasp on how big a problem we face, and what the causes are in different places. This is key information we need to develop strategies to improve care. Our network of partner hospitals will also be helpful to other CANet researchers who want to test new cardiac arrest prevention strategies or treatments. We will also work together to ensure that all Canadians with heart disease receive the care that they need and deserve.
Dr. Jaimie Manlucu MD, FRCPC
Director of Heart Rhythm Department
Dr. Manlucu is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Western University and a member of the Arrhythmia Service at the London Health Sciences Centre (University Hospital) in London, Ontario.
She is a medical graduate of McMaster University and completed her Internal Medicine and General Cardiology training at Western University before going on to subspecialty training in Advanced Cardiac Electrophysiology at the Ottawa Heart Institute and Brigham and Women’s Hospital (Harvard University, Boston, MA).
She joined the London Arrhythmia Service in 2012, where she is currently the Program Director for the Cardiac Electrophysiology Fellowship Training Program and Director of Undergraduate Education for the Division of Cardiology. She has a special interest in implantable cardiac devices, laser lead extraction and complex catheter ablation. Her research interests include cardiac resynchronization therapy, the management of atrial and ventricular arrhythmias, and the prevention of sudden death.