Friday, 8 April 2016

Long QT Syndrome

Lisa Mitchell in the UK is diagnosed with Long QT Syndrome, she is a mother of two young girls who are also diagnosed with the same condition.

Lisa kindly agreed to an interview with me in regards to this condition so as to help raise awareness.

Long QT Syndrome is a rare heart condition.
There is a delayed repolarization of the heart with a heartbeat that increases the risk of torsades de pointes.
Torsades de pointes is a form of polymorphic VT with Long QT interval.
It consists of rapid and irregular QRS complexes which twist around the baseline of the ECG.
It may cease or degenerate into ventricular fibrillation.
Polymorphic Ventricular Tachycardia is when there are multiple ventricular foci with the result of QRS complexes.
The QRS complexes are a combination of three of the graphical deflections seen on an electrocardiogram.
It is the central and visually obvious part of the tracing.
The fibrillation is where there is an uncoordinated contraction of the cardiac muscle of the ventricles in the heart.
This makes them quiver instead of contract as they should.
It is the most common identified arrhythmia in cardiac arrest.

Via the social media website Facebook there is a UK support group for people diagnosed with the condition.


Lisa Mitchell


What is Long QT Syndrome?
The above link is a basic outlay of long qt

What are the symptoms?
We are asymptomatic which means we don't suffer symptoms, our first sign something is wrong is a sudden cardiac arrest.
Some people suffer fainting & can be misdiagnosed as epilepsy.

What treatment is available?
Beta blockers is the main treatment. Due to having a sudden cardiac arrest, I'm more at risk of having another one and therefore I am fitted with ICD (Implantable Cardioverter-defibrillator) this would re-start my heart it. It also acts as a pacemaker should I have any irregular heart rhythms.

How has this condition affected your children?
My children are 7 and 4. Ellie is 7 and her LQT shows in her ECG's, she also have what they think is the gene that causes LQT. She is on beta blockers daily and sees her cardiologist once a year.
Amelie is 4, her ECG's show a normal LQT however she tested positive for the gene and therefore she takes beta blockers daily as a precaution, this is following EU guidelines. She is under the same cardiologist as Ellie.
We have an external defibrillator that goes with Ellie everywhere.
They have to avoid competitive sport, interval activities/sport and anything that gets their heart rate up quickly then drop quickly. It doesn't affect their lives a great deal, however I don't leave them with just anyone and stay at birthday parties etc. Anyone that does look after them has to have CPR training and be trained in the defibrillator. The hardest thing is me holding them back on sport and activities I loved and enjoyed as a child. I swam competitively and was very good, it's hard for me to explain why they can't follow in my footsteps. I've avoided sending them to a swimming club and have taught them to swim myself.

How has this condition affected you?
It hasn't affected my life a great deal, I ensure it doesn't as there would have been no point me surviving. I suppose having the ICD gives me added protection.
Anytime the girls do something special, like perform on stage for dancing or at school, I am very emotional as it reminds me just how lucky I am to have survived and to still be here watching them grow up. I beat the odds when I had my cardiac arrest, I am fully aware there are people out there not as lucky as me. Majority don't survive or if they do they suffer brain damage. I don't take life for granted and every day I count my blessings.

Is this condition hereditary?
The condition is hereditary, it has been passed on through my fathers side.

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