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  • Title : Hallym saves pregnant woman with arrhythmia by radiation-free procedure
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  • Professor Hong Euy Lim of Arrhythmia Center at Hallym University Sacred Heart Hospital succeeded in treating a pregnant woman who suffered from ventricular tachycardia without radiation exposure for the first time in Korea.

    Patient Kim who lives in Daegu experienced dizziness seven years ago and was taken to the ER. After a thorough examination by a cardiologist, she was diagnosed with no problem but started taking panic disorder medicine after consulting with a psychologist. She got married last year and got pregnant recently, and she became so dizzy that she had difficulties in her daily life. After visiting a nearby university hospital again, she was diagnosed with ventricular tachycardia and was recommended to choose her life over her baby as it was an urgent situation. Kim, who couldn’t give up her baby, looked for a safer way to her baby and found Professor Lim of Hallym can perform an arrhythmia procedure without radiation exposure.

    When the pregnant patient Kim arrived in the hospital, she was in ventricular tachycardia storm without consciousness. Ventricular tachycardia is a fast and abnormal heart rate and is a very dangerous type of arrhythmia. It can cause low blood pressure or heart damage and also can increase the risk of sudden death.

    After recovering her consciousness, she expressed her desire to protect the baby, and Professor Lim performed the arrhythmia procedure without radiation exposure, drugs, and anesthetic, saving both the mother and her baby.

    This type of procedure, unlike the general form of surgical procedure that depends on X-ray images, is conducted only by using ICE. The high-resolution 3D mapping system used to guide radiofrequency catheter ablation (RFCA) improves the accuracy and safety of RFCA even more. This surgical technique is appropriate for children, pregnant women, and elderly patients with arrhythmia since it doesn’t require radiation exposure.

    “Arrhythmia can be a cause of sudden death. Just because the patient is pregnant, the patient should never delay the procedure or give up her baby,” said Professor Lim.

    Professor Lim is one of the top cardiologists in atrial fibrillation and is the only certified proctor for intracardiac echocardiography (ICE) in Korea. This kind of arrhythmia procedure without radiation is known as one of the highest-level medical techniques, and he has already succeeded in more than 500 cases until last August.

    By Jonghun Im, Int’l Cooperation Team, HUMC (