“I hope I inspire others”: Amy becomes first British woman to win major research prize | News from St Bartholomew's

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“I hope I inspire others”: Amy becomes first British woman to win major research prize

Amy Wharmby, research prize winner

Chief cardiac physiologist Amy Wharmby has scooped multiple awards at a major international conference.

She achieved the highest scoring abstract in two categories - ‘Allied health care professionals’ and ‘Women in Electrophysiology (EP)’ - at the Heart Rhythm Society’s annual conference in San Francisco, USA.

She is the first British woman to both these prizes. 

During the event, Amy presented her research on the use of specialist subcutaneous implantable cardioverter defibrillators.

An implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) is a device similar to a pacemaker. It sends a larger electrical shock to the heart that "reboots" it to get it pumping again.

ICDs are often used as a preventative treatment for people thought to be at risk of cardiac arrest. 

If the ICD senses the heart is beating at a potentially dangerous abnormal rate, it'll deliver an electrical shock. This often helps return the heart to a normal rhythm.

A conventional ICD has a pacing lead that's implanted along a vein (transvenously). There's also a newer type of ICD where the pacing lead is implanted under the skin (subcutaneously).

Implantable defibrillators have been in use since the early 1980s but S-ICDs are increasingly popular because no leads are actually placed into the heart, reducing the risk of infection should they need to be removed or replaced. 

The team at Barts Heart Centre perform thousands of these procedures each year. 

Amy said she was proud to share her learning with people from other global centres and to represent St Bartholomew’s Hospital on the international stage. 

She said: “I hope my award will inspire other women to get into research and submit their work to international conferences. 

“I would like to thank the amazing team at the hospital and in particular Professor Pier Lambiase, Dr Charles Butcher, Chris Monkhouse and James Elliott for their support.”

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  1. Monica Brown Saturday, 2 July 2022 at 12:37 PM

    Excellent Achievement, Well done