Georgina Hunt – Interventional Cardiology
To be so close to having my operation and then not knowing if it would ever happen due to COVID-19 was devastating. Being treated at KIMS Hospital was the best thing I’ve ever done. Although it is going to take me many months to fully recover, at least I have had it done thanks to the collaboration that was put in place by the NHS and the independent health sector earlier this year.
NHS Interventional Cardiology at KIMS Hospital, the largest Independent Hospital in Kent
KIMS Hospital contains the only private Interventional Cardiology facility in Kent. The Interventional Suite is a full operating room environment for both Interventional Cardiology and Interventional Radiology where patients can undergo both diagnostic and Interventional treatments such as Angiograms, Pacemaker Implants, Electrophysiology, Stent Insertions and Vascular access.
Prior to the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, KIMS Hospital’s Interventional Suite Team already had a partnership in place working collaboratively with Medway NHS Foundation Trust (MFT). As COVID-19 began to close NHS hospitals’ operating theatres, KIMS Hospital was able to support the NHS further, as part of the Government’s COVID-19 contingency planning, by working closely with other local NHS Trusts such as Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells (MTW), offering access to patients requiring urgent or complex cardiology treatment.
Georgina Hunt, 22, had suffered with undiagnosed supraventricular tachycardia (SVT) since the age of 11 when she fainted at school due to an exceptionally fast heartbeat. At the time, she was diagnosed as having anxiety and over the next 11 years was treated for panic attacks which were believed to be the cause of the rapid heart rate.
However, in October 2019, Georgina suffered her worst episode whilst attending a family event. She was rushed to Maidstone Hospital where the team were able to take an ECG which showed her heart was beating at a rate of 288 beats per minute, nearly three times the rate of a normal heart beat. In November 2019, Georgina was fitted with a seven-day heart monitor which captured two episodes of SVT and she was eventually diagnosed with an unusual third electrical pathway in the heart which was causing the abnormal heartbeat.
The cardiology team at Maidstone Hospital scheduled Georgina’s operation shortly after. However, due to COVID-19 her operation was delayed.
In July 2020, Georgina received news that her care was being transferred to KIMS Hospital under the NHS England contract and two weeks later she was admitted to the Interventional Suite to undergo Electrophysiology (EP). Three months on and Georgina is recovering well. She has not had a single SVT episode since her operation.
Georgina comments, “I’m so grateful that MTW were able to work with KIMS Hospital during these uncertain times. To be so close to having my operation and then not knowing if it would ever happen due to COVID-19 was devastating. Being treated at KIMS Hospital was the best thing I’ve ever done. Although it is going to take me many months to fully recover, as the operation on my heart was so complex, at least I have had it done thanks to the collaboration that was put in place by the NHS and the independent health sector earlier this year.”