No Need For Leads: Wireless Heart Help - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

No Need For Leads: Wireless Heart Help

Posted: Updated:

SEATTLE (Ivanhoe Newswire) - Each year more than 300,000 people die in the U.S. from cardiac arrest. Some hearts beat too slow, others too fast. Now, a new type of shock therapy is helping save hearts.

This is a good day for Merle Honey. Today he's being released from the hospital as one of the first people in the U.S. to have a new defibrillator implanted in his chest.

"I've had a lot of problems with this old ticker," said cardiac patient Merle Honey.

Merle suffers from a dangerously fast heartbeat.

"My heart takes off on a run. It races away," explained Honey.

A traditional defibrillator, or ICD, was implanted a few years ago. His original defibrillator was put in the left side of his chest. A wire was snaked into one of the veins, under his collar bone and into his heart. Merle's wire caused a life-threatening infection and had to be removed.

 "This new defibrillator is put underneath the skin, lower down in the chest and has a wire that goes just outside the chest wall and up the sternum," Jordan Prutkin, M.D., a Cardiologist from Harborview Medical Center at the University of Washington told Ivanhoe.

Wiping out or reducing the chance of complications from the traditional wire, such as infection or puncturing the lung or the heart.

 "There's nothing that's going into any of the blood vessels, and nothing that's going into the heart itself," Dr. Prutkin explained.

The new SICD keeps track of the heart; a normal heart beats 50 to 90 times a minute. If Merle's heart beats between 180 and 220, it tries to determine if the situation is life-threatening and will shock him.

"He's gonna feel it. It's gonna feel like getting kicked in the chest," said Dr. Prutkin.

After a little heart to heart with his doctor, Merle's heading home without any worries or wires.

This new SICD is not for everyone. Unlike the traditional ICD's, there's no pacing capabilities. So if the heart starts to beat too slow it cannot bring it back up to speed.

RESEARCH SUMMARY

CARDIAC ARREST: When someone goes into sudden cardiac arrest, they have a loss of heart function which can lead to sudden cardiac death; the biggest cause of natural death in the United States. Cardiac arrest is caused by a malfunction in the electrical system to the heart causing the heart to beat irregularly. When the heartbeat becomes too fast or too slow, blood is not delivered throughout the body to important organs such as the lungs and brain. Often times people in cardiac arrest will lose consciousness because there is not enough blood and oxygen reaching the brain. (Source: www.clevelandclinic.org)

SIGNS: If a person goes into cardiac arrest, it is important to get immediate medical help and call 911, or else the person could die. Although in more than half of all sudden cardiac arrest cases there are no symptoms prior to the actual cardiac arrest, here are a few signs that sometimes precede cardiac arrest:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Dizziness
  • Chest Pain
  • Vomiting
  • Heart palpitations

When cardiac arrest does occur the person may lose consciousness, have no pulse and stop breathing. CPR can help oxygen reach the lungs and brain while an electric shock to the chest using a defibrillator will help restore a normal heart rhythm. (Source: www.mayoclinic.com)

TREATMENT: After a person experiences a sudden cardiac arrest episode, there is a higher likelihood that they will have another. Treatments to help avoid another cardiac arrest include medication called beta-blockers, which prevent unusually fast or irregular heart rhythms, and corrective heart surgery to help people with issues like congenital heart defects and heart muscle disease that may be the underlying cause of the cardiac arrest. A treatment used to lower the risk of death if another cardiac arrest occurs is the implantable cardioverter defibrillator, or ICD. This device is implanted in patients and monitors and controls abnormal heart rhythms. (Source: www.mayoclinic.com)

FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT:

Jordan M. Prutkin, M.D., M.H.S., Assistant Professor of Medicine
Washington University Medical Center
jprutkin@cardiology.washington.edu

  • Medical News HeadlinesMedical News HeadlinesMore>>

  • Migraine Relief: Stopping Pain & Relieving Pressure

    Migraine Relief: Stopping Pain & Relieving Pressure

    Friday, April 18 2014 5:15 PM EDT2014-04-18 21:15:06 GMT
    Meredith Messerli is thankful she can study without pain. The college freshman spent two years of her life battling severe migraines.more>>
    Meredith Messerli is thankful she can study without pain. The college freshman spent two years of her life battling severe migraines.more>>
  • Hope For Lanie: Curing SMA

    Hope For Lanie: Curing SMA

    Thursday, April 17 2014 5:15 PM EDT2014-04-17 21:15:09 GMT
    SMA attacks the body's motor neurons and causes paralysis. There is no cure, but for the first time doctors are studying an experimental therapy that targets more than just symptoms.more>>
    SMA attacks the body's motor neurons and causes paralysis. There is no cure for SMA but for the first time doctors are studying an experimental therapy that targets more than just symptoms, it targets mutated SMN genes, which are responsible for SMA.more>>
  • Washing Lungs & Breathing Better

    Washing Lungs & Breathing Better

    Wednesday, April 16 2014 5:15 PM EDT2014-04-16 21:15:09 GMT
    Imagine not being able to breathe without struggling: every breath you take is work; every breath you take could be your last. That was the case for one man who became dependent on an oxygen tank to stay alive.more>>
    Imagine not being able to breathe without struggling: every breath you take is work; every breath you take could be your last. That was the case for one man who became dependent on an oxygen tank to stay alive.more>>
  • Ocular Melanoma: Saving Lives, Saving Eyes

    Ocular Melanoma: Saving Lives, Saving Eyes

    Friday, April 11 2014 5:15 PM EDT2014-04-11 21:15:07 GMT
    Ocular melanoma, also called uveal melanoma, is a rare type of melanoma that targets the eye. It can be a deadly if it isn't spotted early enough. Now, there's a way to treat patients that's saving lives and saving eyes.more>>
    Ocular melanoma, also called uveal melanoma, is a type of melanoma that targets the eye. It affects about 2,000 people a year in the United States. Although rare – it can be a deadly if it isn't spotted early enough. Now, there's a way to treat patients that's saving lives and saving eyes.more>>
  • Memory Palace: Coping With Chemo Brain

    Memory Palace: Coping With Chemo Brain

    Thursday, April 10 2014 5:15 PM EDT2014-04-10 21:15:09 GMT
    More than 13 million Americans are living with some form of cancer. Harsh treatments like chemo and radiation save lives, but they will also change lives. Now, many cancer survivors are learning how to cope with chemo brain.more>>
    More than 13 million Americans are living with some form of cancer. Harsh treatments like chemo and radiation save lives, but they will also change lives. Now, many cancer survivors are learning how to cope with chemo brain.more>>
  • Pedaling For A Cure

    Pedaling For A Cure

    Wednesday, April 9 2014 5:15 PM EDT2014-04-09 21:15:09 GMT
    Five years ago, Leslie Trudeau's world came crashing down. At just 22 years old, her son Taylor lost his battle with leukemia. That's why Trudeau is pedaling for a cure.more>>
    Five years ago, Leslie Trudeau's world came crashing down. At just 22 years old, her son Taylor lost his battle with leukemia. That's why Trudeau is pedaling for a cure.more>>
  • Bringing Hearts Back To Life: New Improved Defibrillator

    Bringing Hearts Back To Life: New Improved Defibrillator

    Tuesday, April 8 2014 5:15 PM EDT2014-04-08 21:15:13 GMT
    CPR and a portable defibrillator helped keep Eric Robinson alive after he went into cardiac arrest. And now a newly FDA approved Biotronik implantable cardiac defibrillator, or ICD, constantly monitors his heart.more>>
    A year ago, while jamming with his son's band, Eric Robinson went into cardiac arrest. CPR and a portable defibrillator helped keep Robinson alive. And now a newly FDA approved Biotronik implantable cardiac defibrillator, or ICD, constantly monitors his heart.more>>
  • Helping High Risk Hearts

    Helping High Risk Hearts

    Monday, April 7 2014 5:15 PM EDT2014-04-07 21:15:09 GMT
    Ironing is not exactly Barbara Roy's favorite activity, but it's something she's glad she can do again. Her doctor diagnosed her with severe aortic stenosis.more>>
    Ironing is not exactly Barbara Roy's favorite activity, but it's something she's glad she can do again. Her doctor diagnosed her with severe aortic stenosis.more>>
  • Hernias In Newborns: Lincoln's Story

    Hernias In Newborns: Lincoln's Story

    Friday, April 4 2014 5:15 PM EDT2014-04-04 21:15:07 GMT
    Congenital diaphragmatic hernias occur in about one in every 2,000 births. They can be deadly, but now doctors are using a more aggressive treatment approach.more>>
    Congenital diaphragmatic hernias occur in about one in every 2,000 births. They can be deadly, but now doctors are using a more aggressive treatment approach.more>>
  • Predicting Bad Hearts

    Predicting Bad Hearts

    Thursday, April 3 2014 5:15 PM EDT2014-04-03 21:15:09 GMT
    Every year, more than 700,000 Americans have a heart attack. Now, researchers at Baylor Research Institute at Dallas have uncovered a biomarker that may help them spot the disease sooner.more>>
    Every year, more than 700,000 Americans have a heart attack. And 600,000 die of heart disease. Now, researchers at Baylor Research Institute at Dallas have uncovered a biomarker that may help them spot the disease sooner; and they did it by pure accident.more>>
Powered by WorldNow
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 NewsChannel 5 (WTVF-TV) and WorldNow. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.