Medicine, Nursing and Allied Health Professions

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Isabel FitzGerald

Postgraduate Research Student

 07515 688294



I am a medical student who is currently intercalating doing a masters in research my interests are mostly in prehospital and emergency medicine. I am hugely keen on research as the leading edge of medicine and I feel this should be driven forward in these challenging environments. 

My other interests involve wilderness medicine and variety of sports and I am the president of the Exeter Wilderness Medicine society. My sports mostly sailing and fencing having represented the university for four years and previously sailed to an international level.



4th year medical student                                                                                                  

A levels – A* Chemistry, A* Biology, A* Maths



Research interests

Supraventricular tachycardia (SVT) is a common condition with patients presenting to Emergency Departments and ambulance staff around the world with unpleasant rapid palpitations. The recommended first line treatment includes the Valsalva manoeuvre (MV) which can terminate the SVT through the reflex action of the vagus nerve.

Although the VM lacks efficacy in normal practice, clinical trials have shown that a postural modification can improve VM efficacy. However there is some debate as to whether a supine VM would be as effective and there is currently no reliable and convenient way to ensure the recommended strain pressure is achieved in usual practice.

To address this, we have designed a study measuring the physiological effects of the modified VM compared to the supine VM and with use of a Valsalva assist device (VAD) compared to a manometer. The VAD is designed to provide the correct resistance against exhalation during the VM but has not been tested before.

The aims of this study are to determine if there is a difference in physiological response between modified and supine VM and to see if the VAD is as effective as a manometer in generating the recommended strain and physiological response.

My supervisors are Dr Andrew Appelboam, Dr Iain Lang and Professor Paul Ewings. Dr Appelboam and Prof Ewing’s having recently run the REVERT trial published in the Lancet which showed the modified manoeuvre was much more effective than the standard Valsalva manoeuvre.


Supervision / Group

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