Working life: Dr Keith Morrice, consultant cardiologist

6.30am
I try to go for a run twice a week before work but while my intentions are good, I tend to stay in bed at the first sign of bad weather. 

I never skip breakfast (Weetabix), because breaking for lunch isn’t always an option.

I head into work before 8am to see any patients who were admitted overnight and to decide on treatment plans.

8.30am

Two days out of five, I have a theatre list and I head to the catheter laboratory where we carry out a variety of tests and procedures to measure and treat abnormal heart rhythms.

One such procedure is ablation, where a catheter is passed from a vein in the groin to the location on the heart wall where the arrhythmia originates. Radio frequency electrical energy is transmitted through the catheter tip to the cardiac tissue to generate a tiny, exactly defined scar which will prevent future arrhythmias.

9.30am

On the days I’m not in theatre, I see patients at my outpatient clinic, known colloquially as the ‘Pink Clinic’ on the Western Road.

I see people with chest pain and palpitations across all age groups, many of whose symptoms can be managed via medication. I see children as young as 12 with heart arrhythmias whose parents are anxious to have them assessed because they want to know if it’s safe for them to take part in sport.

1pm

I go through the diary with my secretary while having a sandwich and I check what patient results are in, whether there are new referrals and we schedule appointments. If it’s theatre day, I nip out to see my patients on the wards.

2pm

Back in the cath lab I assess patients with supraventricular tachycardia (SVT), where typical symptoms include palpitations, and with atrial fibrillation, the most common cause of cardiac arrhythmia. In some cases, we insert cardiac devices such as pacemakers or automatic implantable cardioverter — defibrillators.

5pm

I carry out a ward round to see how patients are faring and to see who is fit for discharge. I also spend some time talking to patients’ relatives.

6.30pm

I like to do a bit of cycling in the evening, I was based in Belgium for a while and they have good facilities for cyclists. Cork is catching up.

* Dr Keith Morrice is a consultant cardiologist, with a special interest in electrophysiology, at Bon Secours Hospital, Cork.


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