The American Heart Association has released recommendations on a wearable defibrillator to combat sudden cardiac death. Doctors at Memphis Cardiology said the LifeVest recently saved 57-year-old Eli Henderson of Memphis, TN.
Henderson explained he has dealt with health issues since he was a teenager. Heart disease ran in his family, but it wasn't until he started seeing Dr. Kishore Arcot of Memphis Cardiology that he learned just how grave his situation was health-wise. He was diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy (commonly referred to as “heart failure”).
"That's very scary, but fortunately we have a treatment," said Dr. Arcot. In this case, it was the LifeVest. "It not only monitors the heart, in fact, it provides the definitive treatment," he explained. The vest monitors a patient's heart 24/7, providing around the clock care. If it senses an abnormal heartbeat, in less than a minute, the device provides a shock treatment to correct its rhythm.
"It was kind of uncomfortable and I always had to rearrange it, but I'm glad I hung with it," said Henderson.
His choice to use it continually, proved invaluable about a month into wearing it. He said he woke up in the middle of the night, confused, and realized the device had provided him with a shock. A quick call to his provider, offered insight into what had happened to him.
"They told me I had flat lined," explained Henderson. Dr. Arcot said the device saved his patient's life, no question.
Dr. Arcot explained that a majority of his patient's hearts will strengthen through medication and treatment, while using the vest but in Henderson's case, long term care was necessary. He now has an implantable defibrillator for protection from sudden cardiac death.
"I might live to get all gray," said Henderson, with a laugh.
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