A Winchester Medical Center (WMC) patient recently became the first to
receive a CardioMEMS™ implant locally, an exciting development for
patients with heart failure who experience challenges managing symptoms
and avoiding crises and unwanted hospital admissions.
The tiny CardioMEMS device measures and monitors pulmonary artery pressure
and heart rate, and transmits data wirelessly to the advanced heart failure
team, enabling them to anticipate and respond to changes and prevent the
need for a hospital visit.
Interventional cardiologist Neal S. Gaither, MD, implanted the small sensor
in the first patient’s pulmonary artery during a cardiac catheterization
procedure in the WMC Cardiac Cath Lab in early March. The Kearneysville,
WV, resident is excited about the prospect of avoiding emergency trips
to the hospital which he has experienced 2-3 times each year.
CardioMEMS is the first and only FDA-approved heart failure monitor clinically
proven to reduce heart failure hospital admissions and improve quality
of life. The majority of decompensated heart failure patients (those whose
condition has deteriorated or worsened) who land in the hospital qualify
for CardioMEMS, explains Nikolas Krishna, MD, chair of the WMC Heart Failure
Clinical Council. Dr. Krishna joined Winchester Cardiology and Vascular
Medicine and the Valley Health Heart and Vascular team in October, 2017,
after completing a fellowship with the Center for Advanced Heart Failure
and Transplant at University of Connecticut’s Hartford Hospital.
Dr. Krishna’s experience with CardioMEMS has been overwhelmingly
positive. “Patients love the device,” he says. “It’s
patient-friendly and helps them engage with the day-to-day management
of their disease. It allows them to participate in their own healthcare.”
More than six million Americans are living with heart failure, and over
900,000 new cases are diagnosed each year, according to the American Heart
Association. Heart failure is one of the most common reasons for hospital
admissions. Heart failure costs the U.S. about $30 billion each year,
with about 80% of those costs due to hospitalization.
Valley Health is expanding its advanced heart failure services to provide
more resources to help patients and their primary care provider or cardiologist
manage advanced heart failure and cardiomyopathy. The Advanced Heart Failure
Clinic at Winchester Medical Center offers outpatient evaluation and monitoring,
outpatient IV infusion services and inpatient multidisciplinary rounding,
along with patient education and support. The multidisciplinary heart
failure team includes a fellowship-trained heart failure cardiologist,
an experienced cardiology nurse practitioner, nurses, pharmacists, dietitians
and other specialists. Call the Advanced Heart Failure Clinic at 540-536-0518
to learn more.