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Cardiologists Install First Heart Monitoring Device as Part of Heart Failure Program

Posted Date: 9/25/2018
CardioMEMS device

Mon Health cardiologists recently installed the health system's first CardioMEMS device, which allows specialists to constantly monitor a patient’s heart failure symptoms – without the patient leaving home. 

Mon Health Heart and Vascular Center heart failure patients can now receive the care they need from the comfort of their own homes.

Mon Health Cardiologists Wissam Gharib and Robert Hull recently implanted the health system’s first CardioMEMS device, which allows specialists to constantly monitor a patient’s heart failure symptoms – without the patient leaving home.

The CardioMEMS device is installed during an outpatient procedure in the Mon Health Medical Center Cath Lab. Drs. Gharib and Hull place the CardioMEMS device, which is a tiny sensor, in the pulmonary artery. The sensor communicates wirelessly to the Heart & Vascular Center.

The CardioMEMS device is part of the newly-launched Mon Health Heart and Vascular Center Heart Failure Program. Specifically for heart failure patients, the program treats symptoms such as shortness of breath, swelling, decreased activity tolerance and difficulty sleeping. Dr. Hull oversees the program.

“Heart failure symptoms can change rapidly,” said Dr. Hull. “The CardioMEMS device collects patient data and reports the data to our clinic. The information is read daily, and we look for trends.”

Nurse Practitioners Lisa Henry and Alexis Cox work closely with Dr. Hull to identify trends in the patient’s data. The team tracks changes and adjusts medications and treatment plans as needed.

“Before the CardioMEMS device, you could only provide this level of monitoring during a hospital stay,” Henry said. “The device keeps patients in the comfort of their own homes without sacrificing the level of care they need.”

In addition to the CardioMEMS device, heart failure patients who are part of the program can receive IV diuresis treatment during their appointments. IV diuresis helps heart failure patients manage fluid retention. Previously, IV diuresis was only provided to patients during a hospital stay.

“By treating heart failure symptoms like fluid retention during an appointment, instead of admitting the patient to the hospital, the patient can maintain a better quality of life,” Henry said. “The Heart Failure Program also reduces costs associated with treating heart failure symptoms.”

Patients must be referred to the Heart Failure Program through their primary care physician, emergency room or cardiologist.

“We want to see these patients right away,” Henry said. “In most cases, we can see heart failure patients the same day they’re referred.”

To learn more about the Mon Health Heart & Vascular Center, visit monhealth.com/heart or call 304-278-6562.

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