LIMA — John Reeder has been hospitalized several times in recent years because of congestive heart failure.
Since undergoing a new procedure at Lima Memorial Health System, the Lima resident said he is breathing better, is more active, and feels “about 100 percent.”
Reeder was the first patient at Lima Memorial to be implanted with CardioMEMS, the nation’s only FDA-approved wireless heart failure monitor that is meant to reduce hospital admissions and improve quality of life for heart failure patients.
“I feel wonderful,” Reeder said. “I couldn’t breathe before hardly, and I could hardly walk. Now I can even run a little bit, and I’m improving all the time.”
CardioMEMS is a miniaturized, wireless sensor that is implanted in an individual’s pulmonary artery during a right heart catheterization. The sensor is designed to last the lifetime of the patient and does not require an external power source.
The wireless transmitter will detect and transmit an individual’s internal blood pressure data to his or her health care provider. This data enable the cardiologist to proactively address changes in the patient’s condition with medications, often weeks before the patient would typically experience symptoms, such as weight gain.
“What [Reeder] can do is lie down on a special pillow that has technology in it, and it goes to a computer-based machine right by his bedside,” said Dr. Pamela Gardner, medical director of Lima Memorial’s Heart Failure Clinic. “What we do then is, two to three times a week, we look at those and adjust the amount of medicines he’s taking or whatever needs to happen in order to keep him feeling well.”
Before this technology was introduced, Gardner said heart failure patients had to rely on self-monitoring to detect signs of progressing heart failure. She said this technique provided late indication of cardiac distress, and often resulted in hospitalization to stabilize the heart.
“Now, we can stay in close communication with our patients, achieve better health outcomes, and avoid the unnecessary stress and expense associated with a hospital stay,” she said.
Gardner said Lima Memorial is the only hospital in the region to introduce this new technology. She said the closest health system that uses CardioMEMS is in Columbus.
Reeder is one of two patients to undergo the procedure, but Gardner said there are at least six other individuals who are in line to receive a CardioMEMS implant.
Reach John Bush at 567-242-0456 or on Twitter @bush_lima.