Wednesday, September 27, 2023 | 16:08 WIB

Cardioverter defibrillators prevent sudden cardiac death from arrhythmias


Jakarta, IO – Arrhythmia or heart rhythm disturbances are diagnosed as a heartbeat that is too fast, too slow, or irregular, because the electrical impulses in the heart don’t fire properly. In addition to mild symptoms such as palpitations, dizziness, and lightheadedness, these disorders increase the risk of stroke, heart failure, fainting and even sudden cardiac death. The number of sufferers continues to increase, inversely proportional to the lack of access to arrhythmia treatment and the presence of cardiologists and blood vessel specialists in Indonesia; in fact, only 46 people are recorded are possessing this specialization. 

“The prevalence of arrhythmias is estimated at 1.5-5% in the global population. The most common arrhythmia is atrial fibrillation, which reaches 46.3 million cases. It is estimated that by 2050, the prevalence of atrial fibrillation will be 16 million cases in the United States, 14 million in Europe, and 72 million in Asia, 3 million cases in Indonesia. Individuals with atrial fibrillation have five times the risk of stroke compared to individuals without it,” said Dr. dr. Dicky Armein Hanafy, Sp.JP(K), FIHA, FAsCC, Advisory Council of the Indonesian Heart Rhythm Society (InaHRS) at the press conference “One Decade of InaHRS: A Review and Outlook” which was held on Tuesday (29/8/2023). 

dr. Sunu Budhi Raharjo, Sp.JP(K), Ph.D
dr. Sunu Budhi Raharjo, Sp.JP(K), Ph.D (Source: HARAPAN KITA HOSPITAL)

Drugs Not Cure 

Arrhythmias can happen to anyone, appear sporadically, and in a small proportion of patients are congenital. Other risk factors for arrhythmias are age, consumption of alcohol, certain medications or drugs and smoking habits. 

“Handling arrhythmias is by ablation, using a catheter inserted through a blood vessel to the heart. Increasingly high levels of action indicate ablation surgery is the first choice. Treatment can ease the appearance of an arrhythmia, but not cure it. It is also possible to install an Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (ICD) to deliver timed electric shocks in the event of a heart rhythm disturbance. The ICD is small, implanted in the chest, and has a battery that can last up to eight years,” he said. 

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On the same occasion, dr. Sunu Budhi Raharjo, Sp.JP(K), Ph.D, Chairman of InaHRS, said that sudden cardiac death cases in Indonesia number more than 100,000 per year. However, efforts to prevent sudden cardiac death with ICD are minimal, still below 40%. “InaHRS, as the professional organization, found that the main factor causing this phenomenon was the large gap between the coverage of the National Health Insurance (JKN) via BPJS Kesehatan and the cost of medical procedures that had to be carried out by arrhythmia experts,” he stated. 

In the end, InaHRS also proposes to the government and health stakeholders in Indonesia to pay attention to this problem by increasing financial coverage through BPJS Kesehatan, so that people can get arrhythmia services matching world standards. (est)


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