Experts conclude at the 7th APHRS Scientific Session one of the largest International conferences on Heart Rhythm disorders in the World
Atrial Fibrillation, one of the most common Heart Rhythm disorders was concluded to be a growing epidemic in India affecting over 12.7 million Indians in 2013 as compared to 12.3 million in 2012. This was the main topic of discussion at the 7th APHRS Scientific Session, one of the largest gatherings of Cardiac Electrophysiologists in the world. In it’s in its 7th edition, the APHRS Scientific Session was jointly organized in India for the first time ever by the Asia Pacific Heart Rhythm Society (APHRS) and the Indian Heart Rhythm Society (IHRS). The topics of discussion included ECGs, Sudden Cardiac Death, Atrial Fibrillation, Heart Failure and Arrhythmia. The four-day conference was held between October 29 – Nov 1 simultaneously at Hotel Taj Palace and ITC Maurya in New Delhi.
A special focus was also given to technological development in the field of heart rhythm disorders through revolutionary technologies such as Leadless Pacemakers and Subcutaneous Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator’s (ICD). According to the data presented in the APHRS 2014 white book, which was released on the closing ceremony of the conference, in 2013 over 23 lakh Indians suffered from heart failure and 6,27,000 died due to sudden cardiac death. The total number of pacemakers implanted in the year 2013 was 36,322 and ICD’s 1950. This showed the need for global platforms such as these to discuss the growing incidence of heart rhythm disorders and its treatment.
The highlight of the conference were the 200 scientific sessions conducted by 250 core leading National and International faculty including Dr Richard Fogel (President Heart Rhythm Society USA), Dr Young Hoon Kim (President APHRS), Dr Johnathan Kalman, Dr Kalyalam Shivkumar and Dr Mohan Nair (Organizing Committee Chairman APHRS Scientific Session 2014).
Speaking on the occasion Dr Mohan Nair, Chairman Organizing Committee, 7th Asia APHRS Scientific Session and Chairman Cardiology, Saket City Hospital said, “It is indeed a proud moment to have an International conference of such stature and scale being organized in India. With the increasing incidence of heart rhythm disorders in the country, it is extremely important that we make full use of the advancements in technology in the fields of arrhythmia and electro cardiology and educate the community about new and innovative treatment options available globally. I am happy to say that India today is at par with global and more and more innovations are being done in India in the field in line with our Prime Minister’s Make in India initiative”.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr Young-Hoon Kim, President APHRS said, “Started in 2008, APHRS takes place every year in different countries of the Asia Pacific Region. The goal behind scheduling these conferences in different countries is to provide an exchange of information related to not only arrhythmia and electro cardiology but also to put forward an apt platform for the exposure to the local culture which is rewardingly educational and deeply enriching. I had a great time in India and look forward to coming back in the future. I am happy to announce that the next APHRS Scientific Session will take place in Melbourne, Australia in 2015”.
Giving a global perspective, Dr Jonathan Kalman, Professor at The Royal Melbourne Hospital in Melbourne, said, “Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common sustained heart rhythm disturbance and a major cause of stroke and death. Over recent decades, the incidence of AF has increased dramatically, positioning AF as one of the epidemics of the new millennium. Conferences like the APHRS Scientific Session like are extremely important platforms to discuss advancements in the field and provide adequate training to heart rhythm physicians to address this modern epidemic”.
Adding to this, Dr Richard Fogel, President, Heart Rhythm Society, USA said, “The treatment of arrhythmic disorders differs not just within different North American countries but also globally, making a platform such as this extremely beneficial and important. Technological advancement has now revolutionized treatment of heart rhythm disorders. For instance putting a three lead pacemaker is now an established non-drug therapy for end stage heart failure.”
Key Highlights of the conference included
1. Atrial fibrillation is the leading cause of stroke (paralysis) in the elderly
2. Patient with atrial fibrillation need long-term blood thinners. Now safer blood thinners are available which do not require blood monitoring
3. Sudden cardiac death is preventable. The general public should learn hands-only cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)
4. Patients who have low pumping action of the heart require a machine, implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICD), an internal electric shock device, which delivers an electric shock when the heart stops functioning due to the disturbed very high rhythm and thus restores normal rhythm
5. Today it is possible to electrically burn (ablate) the electrical pathways of the heart that cause abnormal rhythm
6. It is possible now to put a pacemaker without a lead
7. It is now possible to put an internal electric shock device (ICD) subcutaneously below the skin bypassing the muscle
8. All children going for competitive sports in school should be screened for chances of sudden cardiac death during sports
9. All patients with low pumping action of the heart may require not only an internal electric shock device (ICD), but also a 3 lead pacemaker to improve pumping action of heart
10. All patients with irregular rhythm, atrial tachycardia, should go for electric burning of accessory pathway of the heart (ablation), which is now practically a nonsurgical procedure
11. All high risk patients should be screened for risk of sudden cardiac death so that necessary measures can be taken to prevent sudden cardiac death.
12. There is a need for a nationwide sudden cardiac death prevention program