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A Better Way to Manage Heart Failure

CardioMEMS is a tiny, wireless monitoring sensor that is implanted in the pulmonary artery (PA) during a non-surgical procedure to directly measure PA pressure. Increased PA pressures appear before weight and blood pressure changes, which are often used as indirect measures of worsening heart failure. The new system allows patients to transmit daily sensor readings from home to their Summa healthcare providers, which allows doctors to proactively manage patients’ heart failure and also reduce the likelihood of hospitalization. Summa Health began implanting the sensor in patients in June and to date has performed the procedure on four patients.

“The CardioMEMS technology is safe, reliable and clinically proven to reduce heart failure admissions,” said Dr. Joseph Redle, a Summa Health heart specialist. “Summa is the first hospital in this region to offer such an innovative option for those with heart failure. This can truly improve their quality of life.”

Heart failure occurs when the heart is unable to pump enough blood to meet the body’s needs. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 5.1 million Americans have heart failure, with 670,000 new cases diagnosed each year. Patients with heart failure are frequently hospitalized, have a reduced quality of life and face a higher risk of death.

The CardioMEMS sensor is designed to last the lifetime of the patient and does not require batteries. Once implanted via a minimally invasive procedure, the wireless sensor sends pressure readings to an external patient electronic system. There is no pain or sensation for the patient during the readings. The CardioMEMS System allows patients to transmit critical information about their heart failure status to Summa clinicians on a regular basis, without the need for additional clinic or hospital visits. This provides healthcare providers with the ability to detect worsening heart failure sooner and adjust treatment to reduce the likelihood that the patient will need to be hospitalized.

Millions of Americans suffer from heart failure. Even with patients self-monitoring their body weight and blood pressure, 25 percent of heart failure patients are readmitted to the hospital within 30 days of a hospital admission, and half of heart failure patients are readmitted within six months. According to the American Heart Association, the estimated direct and indirect cost of heart failure in the U.S. for 2012 was $31 billion and that number is expected to more than double by 2030.

The CardioMEMS HF System, from global medical device manufacturer St. Jude Medical, is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for commercial use in the U.S.

Call Summa’s Heart Failure Clinic at (330) 375-3211 to learn more or to refer a patient for a consultation.

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