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KDMC leading the way in heart failure care

KDMC leading the way in heart failure care

King’s Daughters Medical Center is the first facility in the tri-state area to offer the CardioMEMS HF System to patients. CardioMEMS is a miniaturized, wireless monitoring sensor for the management of heart failure. It is the first and only FDA-approved heart failure monitoring device that has been proven to significantly reduce hospital admissions when used by physicians to manage heart failure.

King’s Daughters participated in the CHAMPION Clinical Trial, sponsored by CardioMEMS, which studied the safety and effectiveness of the system. The trial studied patients with class III heart failure who had been hospitalized for heart failure in the prior 12 months.

To date, King’s Daughters has performed 17 CardioMEMS implants. Myles Hughes, 80, of South Portsmouth, Ky., received his CardioMEMS sensor in June 2016. “I would have episodes of pulmonary edema that would hit just all of a sudden,” Hughes said, which would result in a trip to the emergency department for treatment.

The device, which is about the size of a dime, was implanted in Hughes’s pulmonary artery during a cardiac catheterization procedure at King’s Daughters. Shortly after the CardioMEMS was implanted, Hughes experienced an exacerbation of his heart failure and had to be transported to the Emergency Department by ambulance.

Since that one episode, Hughes has had no further issues – and no hospitalizations. In the past, he was hospitalized an average of once a year. Adjusting to the sensor hasn’t been an issue. Other than lying still for about 30 seconds every morning while the CardioMEMS unit transmits its report, he doesn’t even know the device is there. “But I would hate to be without it now,” he said. “It gives me a real sense of security.”

The CardioMEMS HF System features a sensor that is implanted in the pulmonary artery (PA) during an outpatient procedure. The device directly measures PA pressure, which gives a direct indication of worsening heart failure. The new system allows patients to transmit daily sensor readings from the home to King’s Daughters Heart Failure Clinic allowing for personalized and proactive management to reduce the likelihood of hospitalization.

“This innovative technology allows clinicians to monitor and respond to changes in pulmonary artery pressures proactively, improving the quality of life for patients and their families,” said Suzanne Gilmore, APRN, of King’s Daughters Heart Failure Clinic. “With CardioMEMS, we are able to make adjustments to medications and lifestyle choices before the patient is in crisis or requires admission to the hospital,” she noted.

Heart failure occurs when the heart is unable to pump enough blood to meet the body’s demands. According to the U.S. 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 doesn’t require batteries. Once implanted, 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 HF System allows patients to transmit critical information about their heart failure status to the Heart Failure Clinic on a regular basis, without the need for additional clinic or hospital visits. This provides clinicians with the ability to detect worsening heart failure sooner and adjust treatment to reduce the likelihood that the patient will need to be hospitalized.

Data from a clinical trial showed that the CardioMEMS technology reduces heart failure hospital admissions by up to 37 percent. The CHAMPION trial studied the effectiveness of the CardioMEMS HF System in New York Heart Association (NYHA) Functional Classification System class III heart failure patients who had been hospitalized for heart failure in the previous 12 months. The CHAMPION Trial demonstrated a statistically significant 28 percent reduction in the rate of heart failure hospitalizations at six months, and 37 percent reduction in heart failure hospitalizations during an average follow-up duration of 15 months.

Roughly 1.4 million patients in the U.S. have NYHA Class III heart failure, and historically these patients account for nearly half of all heart failure hospitalizations. 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.

“We recognize the burden that Heart Failure places on patients, their families and the community,” said Kerry Tague, director of cardiovascular physician services. “We are committed to doing everything we can to improve not only the length of life for these patients, but also the quality of life. CardioMEMS is a significant step in that direction.”

Cardiologist implanting the CardioMEMS device at King’s Daughters include John Van Deren, M.D., Mohamad Al Madani, M.D., and Sri Velury, M.D. For more information about CardioMEMS at King’s Daughters, please call (606) 324-4745.

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