Star Tribune: Device gives early warning on heart failure
Device gives early warning on heart failure
(Minneapolis) Star Tribune
Joe Carlson, March 16, 2015
MINNEAPOLIS – Joe Jones has been hospitalized half a dozen times for heart failure.
Most recently, he was discharged from the hospital on his birthday, Dec. 30.
But Jones, 56, knew from experience that it wouldn’t be long before he felt that familiar shortness of breath again and would have to go back to the emergency room.
He decided not to wait for another emergency.
Instead, he went in for a 30-minute procedure last week to get a new diagnostic device called CardioMEMS permanently threaded into the pulmonary artery near his heart, becoming the first patient in the Twin Cities to get the device following a lengthy approval process from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
The tiny batteryless gadget, made by St. Jude Medical, can detect signs of impending heart failure events before they devolve into stressful and costly emergencies.
“It might keep me out of the hospital,” Jones said hopefully from his bed.
CardioMEMS was held up for years at the FDA, as experts debated the safety of implanting the device and whether the underlying clinical trial was biased.
The rate of complications from implantation was eventually judged to be minimal, and the FDA cleared the device last May.
Now St. Jude is hoping that thousands of patients — many thousands, in fact — will follow in Jones’ lead.
“Our hope and belief is that this will become standard of care,” said Dr. Mark Carlson, chief medical officer for St. Jude. “We believe that this device and the therapeutic approach associated with this device will transform the care of heart failure.”
Read the full article at the Star Tribune.