Heart Rhythm Society Features "Live Cases" from Northwestern Memorial Hospital

Northwestern Medicine
Cardiology May 18, 2017

Dr. Bradley Knight, director of the Center for Heart Rhythm Disorders at Northwestern Medicine’s Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute, recently led a team presenting a live procedure from Northwestern Memorial Hospital transmitted through a video feed to attendees at the 2017 Heart Rhythm Society’s Scientific Sessions, held in Chicago. We asked Dr. Knight to tell us more about this unique way of training.

Northwestern Medicine surgeons on screen during Heart Rhythm Society live case presentation.What is the value of a live case? For professionals? For future patients?

It is common during education meetings for health care professionals to broadcast live case demonstrations to an audience at the venue. Commonly a moderator at the venue is joined by a panel of experts who ask questions remotely to the operators onsite.

Patients must consent to participate in live case demonstrations, during which efforts are made to maintain confidentiality and to avoid any distractions to the primary operators during the procedure.

These highly educational live cases are often the most popular sessions because they offer attendees the opportunity to observe cutting-edge medical procedures in real time by experts in the field. Unlikely pre-recorded edited video of procedures, these cases offer a rare glimpse into exactly what is happening during the case. There is the excitement associated with the unpredictable nature of the procedure and the ability to watch expert physicians troubleshoot issues as they arise.

How did Northwestern Medicine become involved with the Heart Rhythm Society's 2017 conference?

This was the first year that the Heart Rhythm Society Scientific Sessions were held in Chicago. It was an opportunity for the Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute to showcase the expertise of the interventional clinical cardiac electrophysiology team. Few centers across the country are capable of producing a live interventional procedure suitable for a national audience of peer professionals. After submission of an application last summer, Northwestern was selected to broadcast the live cases on Thursday May 11, 2017.

We performed two complex live cases with great outcomes. One procedure was a pulmonary isolation procedure using the second generation cryoballoon ablation system combined with a left atrial appendage ligation using the most recent generation suture-snare system in a patient with medically-refractory persistent atrial fibrillation. The procedure required simultaneous transseptal left atrial access and pericardial access and was performed by Dr. Albert Lin and me while Dr. Rod Passman moderated.

For the second case Dr. Nishant Verma and Dr. Alex Chicos implanted a His-bundle pacing lead by as Dr. Susan Kim moderated.

Live case presented at 2017 Heart Rhythm Society’s Scientific Session in Chicago.What would you like people to know about the Center for Heart Rhythm Disorders at the Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute?

The Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute Center for Heart Rhythm Disorders is dedicated to ending death and suffering caused by abnormal heart rhythms.

Our group is made of seven highly skilled electrophysiologists with expertise spanning from experimental bench research to complex interventional electrophysiology procedures and are supported by outstanding nursing, administrative and technical teams.

As leaders in the field we can offer patients access to early technology and clinical trials with the potential to treat patients with the full spectrum of abnormal heart rhythms.

You and others in your center have been part of significant advances in cardiology, like small implantable pacemakers and defibrillators. What is the next frontier for electrophysiology? 

The next frontier in electrophysiology is to partner with our peers and industry to develop better tools, devices, and techniques to manage patients with complex and refractory heart rhythm disorders.

Make an appointment by calling 312.NM.HEART.

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