Harrison Memorial Hospital Now Offering Patients a New Heart Failure Monitoring Solution

Harrison Memorial Hospital (HMH) is now offering a new procedure to patients who have congestive heart failure. The procedure involves a miniaturized, wireless monitoring sensor to manage heart failure (HF). The CardioMEMS HF System 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.

Heart failure occurs when the heart is unable to pump enough blood to meet the body’s demands. According to the American Heart Association, nearly 6 million Americans have heart failure and 900,000 new patients are diagnosed each year. Patients with heart failure are frequently hospitalized, have a reduced quality of life and face a higher risk of death. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that half of heart failure patients die within five years of diagnosis.

With this new piece of technology, it will enable the HMH cardiologists and primary care physicians, to monitor the HF patients more efficiently and effectively,” said Dr. Matthew Shotwell, HMH Cardiologist, who performs the procedure. “The monitoring system will enable the healthcare providers to notice changes in the patient before symptoms occur.”

The CardioMEMS HF System features a 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 their homes to their health care providers allowing for personalized and proactive management to reduce the likelihood of hospitalization.

“The new procedure will be another important tool for our physicians as they manage their patients with Congestive Heart Failure, says Sheila Currans, HMH Chief Executive Officer. “Our goal is to improve the quality of life for our patients. And, this technology may help manage patient symptoms more quickly without the need for hospital readmission.”

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 the patients to transmit critical information about their heart failure status to a clinician 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. Recent data from a study by Northwell Health demonstrated that use of the CardioMEMS HF System leads to significant improvements in quality of life and ability to exercise in patients with chronic heart failure.

Heart failure is the leading cause of hospitalization for Americans over age 65. According to the American Heart Association, the estimated direct and indirect cost of heart failure in the U.S. in 2012 was $31 billion and that number is expected to more than double by 2030.

The CardioMEMS HF System, from global medical device manufacturer Abbott, is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for commercial use in the U.S. For more information, visit http://www.heartfailureanswers.com/.  

Along with the CardioMEMS HF procedure, HMH offers a full service line of cardiac procedures and diagnostic testing. HMH has a full-service interventional cardiac catherization lab, complete with stents for cardiac patients and peripheral studies. In addition, HMH cardiologists perform procedures to implant pacemakers, defibrillators and biventricular defibrillators. HMH has two cardiologists on staff, Dr. Matthew Shotwell who specializes in interventional cardiology and Dr. B.K. Srivastava who specializes in diagnostic cardiology.

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Shotwell or Dr. B.K, please call 859.235.3748 (Cynthiana) or 606.759.0021 (Maysville). For more information on the HMH Cardiac Services, please visit our website at www.harrisonmemhosp.com.