Royal Papworth Hospital launches diamond tool to correct abnormal heart rhythms

Royal Papworth Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has launched a new cardiology service, in which diamonds are used to correct abnormal heart rhythms – known as arrythmia.  

The Medtronic DiamondTemp technology – a catheter containing industrial grade diamonds in the tip – is being used in ablation procedures, which uses heat or freezing temperatures on the problematic area of the heart triggering the dangerously fast rhythm. 

Within the Royal Papworth statement, the trust highlights: “the technology will work towards enhancing patient safety, as well as having the potential to provide shorter procedure times.”  

Dr Claire Martin, Consultant Cardiologist, said of the implementation of the new technology: “Cooling the cardiac tissue during an ablation is vital in order to be able to deliver sufficient energy to the tissue and to prevent char building up on the tip of the catheter.  

“This new technology makes the procedures safer because less saline infusion is needed to cool down a diamond catheter compared with platinum which is usually used. This is important in patients with heart failure because fluid can easily build up in the lungs, so we want to use as little fluid as possible. By using diamonds instead of platinum, we are able to use up to 50% less saline.   

“It also provides quicker, more effective cooling, which helps to reduce procedure times and will in turn allow us to perform more ablations each day.” 

Ross Ward, Country Manager for Cardiac Ablations Systems, Medtronic, added: “We are delighted once again to work with the electrophysiology team at Royal Papworth on delivering cutting edge technology to help further advance the treatment of complex heart arrhythmias and restore patients’ normal rhythm.” 

In other news, East Suffolk and North Essex NHS FT are using new equipment to help breast cancer patients focus on their breathing during radiotherapy, and pharmacists at University Hospitals of Northamptonshire have developed a new drug measuring tool to keep a check on controlled drug stocks.