ISLAMABAD: A medical board at the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (Pims) has attached former president Asif Ali Zardari to a Holter monitor to check variations in his heartbeat.

Pims media coordinator Dr Waseem Khawaja told Dawn: “The device has been put on because of the continuous variation in the patient’s heartbeat.”

He added that the patient would stay at the hospital until all his tests come back normal.

A Holter monitor is a battery-operated portable device that measures and records the heart’s activity for 24 to 48 hours, or longer, depending on the type of monitoring used.

Mr Zardari was brought to Pims from Adiala jail in Rawalpindi on Oct 22 and admitted to the cardiology department’s VIP ward. He underwent a number of tests and was declared to be out of danger.

Mr Zardari had complaints of backache, weakness and anxiety. He was examined by neurologist Prof Amir, medical specialist Dr Shajee and cardiologist Prof Naeem. A urologist who was added to the board because he was suffering from inflammation of the prostate gland.

His platelets also dropped to 120,000, which is low but not unusual because he is on a number of medications.

A Cardiac Centre doctor said the device has four or five electrodes that are attached to the chest.

He said patients are put on the device when they complain of dizziness because this can occur due to a low heartbeat. “Mr Zardari is sick, as he is diabetic, has arthritis and has received stents,” he said, adding that he had all these medical issues when he was president as well.

Published in Dawn, November 5th, 2019