What is helping save the lives of patients with heart failure?

Health Watch

Six million adult Americans have heart failure.

It’s a condition where the heart can’t circulate blood as well as it should, but new research shows one system is saving lives.

Heart failure is one of the leading causes of hospital re-admissions in the United States.

Now new research shows how a paper-clip sized implantable monitor is keeping patients healthy and at home.

Dorris Jenkins has been living with heart failure for the past two years.

Dorris J. Jenkins says, ” It’s like your heart is going like this, and you can’t breathe. ”

Dorris spent a full month in the hospital. Then for the next year, she was re-admitted almost every two weeks.

Doctor Sumeet Mitter felt Dorris would be a good candidate for cardiomems.

Doctors thread a catheter through a leg vein and deploy the device near the heart.

Every morning, patients lie on a special pillow like this which transmits the readings to their cardiologist’s smartphone.

Sumeet Mitter, MD, Mount Sinai Hospital, New York says, ” If she’s having a bad day I can log in and see, hey are her pressures going up. ”

That way, Doctor Mitter can adjust her medication immediately.

Dorris says the monitoring system also discourages her from eating salty foods.

Dorris J. Jenkins continues, ” He said, ‘you know Ms. Jenkins if you eat a bag of potato chips today, I’ll know tomorrow’ and I said ‘yeah right’! Sure enough. You eat a bag of potato chips today, he will know in the morning.”

Researchers studied 1,200 medicare patients and found a 58% reduction in hospitalizations one year after implant and a reduction in costs of more than $13,000 per patient.

Doctors say the monitoring system has kept Dorris on track.

Dr. Mitter continues, ” Since February 2018 after the implant she has not been admitted to the hospital once. “

The results of an FDA post-approval study showed that patients were almost 100% free from complications related to the device.

Researchers say obese patients, and those who live far from a hospital would also be likely to benefit from the implant.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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