Kayla Burt is a college basketball player for the University of Washington. Scratch that. Kayla Burt was a player on the University of Washington women’s basketball team. Kayla has left the game due to continuing issues surrounding Long QT syndrome. Kayla’s implanted heart defibrillator went off twice Thursday, January 12, 2006 in a game against the UCLA Bruins.
Her implant went into action as she experienced ventricular tachycardia, which is a very rapid beating of the heart. The heart beats so rapidly that it cannot pump blood into the body.
What is Long QT Syndrome? It’s a heart ailment that is akin to a car’s valves siezing. The heart becomes charged and rigid when pumping blood, but it should relax after to allow blood flow in. With the Long QT Syndrome the heart stays charged and doesn’t relax.
What treatment is available for Long QT Syndrome? Drug therapy is available, but if that doesn’t lead to relief a implantable cardioverter defibrillator can be used. This is a device that is implanted into the right side of the heart and can shock the heart back into a normal rhythm. Even though the device can sometimes deliver a shock when not needed, it can prevent sudden death. The FDA has a great animation on how the implantable defibrillator works.