Let’s Talk hearts

The Ideas Store, Whitechapel

I had assisted Jane Batchelor with emailing our contacts and promoting and issuing invitations for the Let’s Talk Hearts talk at the Ideas Store in Whitechapel including the preparation of an article for inclusion in a newsletter distributed by Lynn Strother.

Jane had her usual busy time during the run up period, preparing and organising posters, permissions, booking the venue and refreshments and most importantly the speakers. 

On the day, we liaised with the Ideas Store’s catering, office and front desk staff and helped prepare the room in readiness for the Talks. I also set up our Welcome display and sign-in desk.

All the hard work organising the event was well worth the effort as we had an excellent response and were kept very busy with people signing in before the talks. We were also delighted that Vernon Trafford, Chair of PPAG was able to make it and he gave some useful insights.

The Speakers for the day and the headline note of their talks were as follows:

Dr Christopher Primus:

Putting out the flames of Heart Failure: A new approach to broken hearts?

The treatment of heart failure has very successfully focussed on changing the way our bodies handle fluid, and its adaptations to living with a weakened heart. But new targets for treatment are desperately needed. We heard an overview of the challenge of fighting inflammation in heart failure, and the potential new treatments being explored.

Chris is currently investigating the importance of inflammation in heart failure. This includes a clinical trial for heart failure patients, attempting to balance the chronic inflammatory response that drives this chronic condition.

Mr Paul Wright

Why taking medicines as prescribed matters

Paul Wright is the Lead Cardiac Pharmacist at Barts Heart Centre with over 10 years cardiac experience. Paul shared his interest in acute coronary syndrome and specialism in heart failure pharmacotherapy.

Dr Amitava Banarjee

Heart failure-the big picture: your questions answered

Amitava has specialised in heart failure and has clinics at the Royal London and UCL Hospitals.  In his talk, he gave an overview of the risk factors, prognosis and the prevention of heart failure. 

All the speakers were excellent and made good use of diagrams in their talks and they succeeded in engaging and interesting their audience, including me. They culminated in a lively question and answer session afterwards and the comments I heard from the audience indicated that they had found it interesting and instructive. 

Although I enjoyed all the talks, I must must declare a particular personal interest — Christopher Primus mentioned a study I was participating in, namely CANTOS. I was formulating questions in my mind for the Q&A session when up popped the CANTOS logo and the success of that trial in dealing with inflammation. Good stuff Christopher!

Another matter which is worthy of note was that, for this event, Jane succeeded in attracting a younger audience which worked very well. Sadly, heart disease affects not only the elderly but also the younger generation and it would do no harm to for the message to be passed on earlier in life.One matter that I missed from my original report was my impression that the students were more interested in the patients’ personal stories than pure medical history. I think this part was important because it was a good way to start a dialogue between the participants and the full stories flowed from this. I would be interested if the other patients had this impression too.

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