Posted on November 03, 2015

The Nursing Department at Heart Hospital (HH), a member of Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC), recently organized an educational event to shed light on a severe heart disease called Brugada syndrome. More than 300 healthcare professionals, including physicians, nurses, students, and other allied health professionals from HMC, Sidra Medical and Research Center, and the University of Calgary in Qatar, convened at the event.

Brugada syndrome is a potentially life-threatening condition that involves a disruption in the normal rhythm of the heart. The disorder can lead to an irregular heartbeat in the lower chambers (ventricles) of the heart, known as ventricular arrhythmias. Without prompt medical attention and treatment, irregular heartbeats can cause fainting, seizures, difficulty in breathing, or sudden cardiac death. The half-day event served as a platform for healthcare professionals to enhance their knowledge about the disease, understand the importance of providing effective nursing care and support patients undergoing diagnostic tests.

The event culminated with a case presentation which detailed the journey of a patient who was successfully treated for Brugada syndrome by a multidisciplinary team at HH. The treatment involved the use of a life-saving modern device, known as an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD). An ICD is a battery-powered device that is placed under the skin, in the patient’s chest or abdomen, and keeps track of the patient’s heart rate. If an abnormal heart rhythm is detected, the device will deliver an electric shock to restore the heartbeat to normal. An ICD is the only known effective treatment for Brugada syndrome.

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Ms. Linda Peters, Executive Director of Nursing at HH, said, “Sudden cardiac death happens around the world and it is often because the cardiac disease has not been diagnosed promptly or the patient has not had presenting symptoms. One such disease is Brugada syndrome – which is not very common but can be life-threatening. International data shows that the chance of survival for cardiac patients who do not receive timely attention and medical care is one percent worldwide. We consider it to be of utmost importance to bring this to the attention of our nursing staff and other colleagues to help them play their role in improving patient health outcomes.”

Mr. Samir Shamieh, Director of Staff Management at HH, commented on the significance of the event. “This is the second time we have organized an event like this. Our aim is to empower the nurses at the hospital and give them a platform to share their experiences with other colleagues within the corporation as well as with those from other healthcare institutes. We believe that as a specialized hospital, we have some of the best and highly-qualified nurses. The development of their skills through events like these will certainly help in providing the best possible care to our patients.”