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Holter Heart Monitor: Save a Child’s Heart

April 30, 2013, 10:30 2179 Author: Roman Kirchenko, translated by Anya Gvozdyeva www.deti.zp.ua Please help collect the funds required to purchase a piece of equipment that will enable early diagnostics of the cardiovascular system abnormalities in children. May the children’s’ hearts beat for longer! Total cost of the equipment is 3,920 US dollars

Many life-threatening conditions affect the body’s main ‘engine’, heart. Children’s bodies are still developing, so it’s crucial to be able to diagnose the abnormalities as soon as possible. A usual cardiogram isn’t always enough. That’s when Holter heart monitor is useful: it continuously records the heart activity over the course of several days. It’s a sort of a magic wand helping uncover the silent abnormalities. We are collecting the funds to purchase this device for the Zaporozhye Children's Hospital No 5 – at the moment they could only dream of diagnostics like this.

Most of us have had cardiogram at least once. The doctors would attach the electrodes of a cardiograph to our skin, and then the thin lines representing the heart rhythms told the doctors that we were either fine or that we had heart problems. Thankfully, a cardiogram gives a high level of confidence when trying to identify heart activity abnormalities.

However, there is one thing to note. The abnormalities of the heart don’t always become apparent immediately, since they can be intermittent. Some of these come and go and others can be caused by specific triggers. But how are we to know when to perform a cardiogram in this case? How are we meant to know the right time and place for it to ‘catch’ the abnormalities?

A solution for this problem has already been devised. Actually, it’s a whole different method. It’s called Holter monitor, and here is how it works: a patient has electrodes and a mini-cardiograph strapped onto him or her. This little device is recording the heart’s activity over whole days. Thanks to the fact that the monitoring is continuous and can be performed during both waking and bed time, also during meal times and exercise, the Holter monitor gives a more comprehensive overview of the heart activity and its dynamics, compared to the usual cardiogram. This is particularly useful when trying to identify complex and lesser-known abnormalities of the heart.

Despite being wide-spread and relatively cheap, few hospitals in Ukraine are in possession of this device. The "Happy Child" charity foundation purchased one of these for the Zaporozhye Regional Children's Hospital in 2013. Another device would be very welcome at the Cardiology Department of the Children's Hospital No 5 — the main children’s hospital in the city of Zaporozhye.

Please help collect the necessary amount (32,000 hryvanyas / approx. 3,920$) to enable early diagnostics of the cardiovascular system abnormalities in children. May the childrens’ hearts beat for longer!

This project is carried out in partnership with the Ukrainian Charity Exchange. You can look up the project on UCE's website.

Happy Child foundation - effective help to the most needy children of the Zaporozhye region, Ukraine, since 2004

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