Thursday 29th June 2017

This week, the team from Heart Valve Voice attended an Interactive Educational evening hosted by the Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital (LHCH) where GPs and primary care specialists heard about new technologies and the referral process.

We were fortunate enough to attend this event and to hear some excellent talks from the clinicians at LHCH about the treatment, diagnosis and prevalence of heart valve disease in the city of Liverpool and to learn about some of the best practices from one of the busiest clinics in the UK. Wil Woan, CEO of Heart Valve Voice also introduced the attendees to the charity and gave them a better understanding of what the charity does and how they can get involved.

Of the topics discussed we learned about the best practices and prescribed tests used when choosing the correct treatment pathway for a patient with valve disease from Professor Rod Stables, Consultant Interventional Cardiologist, the role of CT in diagnosing valve disease and the most effective ways to scan patients with Dr Binukrishnan Sukumaran, Consultant Radiologist, we learned about the treatment pathway for patients who require TAVI treatment and how it is implemented at LHCH from Dr Clare Appleby, Consultant Interventional Cardiologist, and we had an insight into the future of TAVI treatment and how far the treatment has come over the years with Ayush Khurana, Senior Fellow in Structural heart disease intervention and interventional cardiology.

A highlight from the session was being able to hear from valve disease patient Bill Hanson. Bill told us his story and experience with heart valve disease and how a drop in his heart rate alerted him to the possibility of an issue and led his diagnosis of aortic stenosis. Bill, a very energetic 82 year old and avid cyclist found himself slowing down and his impressive 150 mile a week cycle rides rapidly getting slower and shorter. Upon recommendation from his cardiologist, he was put forward for the UK TAVI trial, a multi-centre randomised controlled trial that compares the clinical and cost effectiveness of TAVI with conventional surgical valve replacement. Bill was fortunate enough to be randomly picked to receive TAVI treatment. The procedure was a success and he was back on his bike a fortnight later finishing off 20 miles - a year later he is easily back to his usual 150 miles!

Jo Crowe, Clinical TAVI Nurse Specialist, who was instrumental in organising the event, said, “Events like this are an excellent way for us to increase awareness within then primary care sector of the work that we do for heart valve disease patients throughout Liverpool. It is also an excellent way to provide examples of best practices and to encourage discussion between the GPs and our valve disease specialists to ensure that our patients are getting the treatment that they require when they require it.”

This was an excellent event for Heart Valve Voice to attend and we will be attending many more events like this in the near future including sessions with Southampton and Swansea.