MP Jim Fitzpatrick is ‘all heart’ when it comes to awareness of valve disease

MP Jim Fitzpatrick gets his heart checked

MP Jim Fitzpatrick gets his heart checked - Credit: Hear Valve UK

Jim Fitzpatrick’s ticker is just fine — according an examination of his heart valve.

The Poplar and Limehouse MP heard about heart valve disease when he had his ticker checked at an awareness event in the Houses of Parliament by the Heart Valve Voice charity.

“This disease affects a high proportion of the population,” he said. “Yet it’s worrying that levels of public awareness are low, so the work of Heart Valve Voice aims to improve diagnosis and treatment.”

This involved a heart specialist listening with a stethoscope, one of the first steps to detect heart disease. A doctor can listen for a characteristic heart ‘murmur’ which is usually the first sign of a problem, followed with an echocardiogram test to confirm the diagnosis.

Heart valve disease is irreversible if left untreated and can lead to heart failure and ultimately death, the MP learned.

The charity is calling for a clear pathway between primary, secondary and tertiary care once patients are diagnosed.