Kenyatta University Teaching, Research and Referral Hospital (KUTRRH) marked another milestone by performing the first Single chamber permanent pacemaker insertion in the facility. The team carried out the successful operation included: Dr David Kanyeki (Cardiologist), Dr. Isaac Adembesa, Dr. Killian Kariuki, Dr. Brian Atandi, (Anaesthesiologists), Solomon Chege, Boniface Ligavo, (Cathlab nurses), Oscar Imbaya (Theatre technician), and Brian Otieno, (Radiographer). The surgery was conducted in the hospital’s Cathlab.

A Pacemaker is a device that is inserted in the heart, usually by surgery, to support the electrical system of the heart. They can stabilise abnormal heart rhythms and prevent problems that can disrupt or endanger life. Symptoms observed by a healthcare provider indicating the need for a pacemaker include; chest pain, an unusually fast heartbeat of more than 100 beats per minute(Tachycardia), an unusually slow heartbeat of fewer than 60 beats per minute (Bradycardia), Irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia), a heartbeat that skips beats or adds in extra beats, and heart palpitations -this happens when you can feel your heartbeat in a way that is unpleasant (“flip-flopping” or pounding in your chest). Other symptoms include shortness of breath especially when active, unexplained dizziness or light-headedness, nausea, or fainting, unexplained confusion, swelling i n your ankles, legs, and abdomen, and needing to pass urine multiple times at night. According to the World Health Organization, cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are the leading cause of death globally. An estimated 17.9 million people died from CVDs in 2019, representing 32% of all global deaths. Of these deaths, 85% were due to heart attack and stroke. Out of the 17 million premature deaths (under the age of 70) due to non-communicable diseases in 2019, 38% were caused by CVDs.

Most cardiovascular diseases can be prevented by avoiding risky activities such as tobacco use, unhealthy diet and obesity, a sedentary lifestyle, and excessive consumption of alcohol. It is important that heart diseases are detected as early as possible so that management can begin. Over three quarters of CVD deaths take place in low- and middle-income countries.

Nudged by the foregoing, KUTRRH invested in a state-of-the-art cardiovascular diagnosis and treatment facility. This makes KUTRRH one of the largest multidisciplinary medical facilities in the East Africa region. The heart unit has precise cardiac investigative equipment and the relevant specialists for around the clock patient care service.