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WMC Patient Receives First Implanted Heart Failure Monitoring Device

WMC Patient Receives First Implanted Heart Failure Monitoring Device

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.