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Flushing woman saved by wearable defibrillator

Across the country, more than 50,000 patients at high risk of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) have been prescribed the LifeVest wearable defibrillator.

It couldn't come too soon for 63-year-old Charlotte Clark of Flushing. When she awoke Dec. 4, 2010, the paramedics and police were at her home preparing to take her to the hospital. While unconscious, Charlotte's LifeVest detected a life-threatening arrhythmia and delivered a treatment shock that saved her life. She was treated a second time on her way to the hospital, where she ultimately received an ICD (implantable cardioverter defibrillator).

Charlotte is the first life saved by Hurley using this amazing state of the art technology, according to Dr. Syed I. Ahmed, Hurley Medical Center medical coordinator.

"It takes a good doctor to understand a person's problem and to give them the help they need," Charlotte said to Ahmed. "He knew I needed the vest and pushed me to wear it. I really appreciate him. He saved my life."

The LifeVest is worn by patients at risk for SCA, providing protection during their changing condition and while permanent SCA risk has not been established. The LifeVest allows a patient's physician time to assess his or her long-term arrhythmic risk and make appropriate plans. The LifeVest is the first wearable defibrillator. Unlike an ICD, the LifeVest is worn outside the body rather than implanted in the chest. It requires no bystander intervention.

The LifeVest is lightweight and easy to wear, allowing patients to return to their activities of daily living, while having the peace of mind that they are protected from SCA. The LifeVest continuously monitors the patient's heart and, if a life-threatening heart rhythm is detected, the device delivers a treatment shock to restore normal heart rhythm.

"It is so rewarding to see so many patients have benefited from this therapy. The LifeVest plays an important role in the continuum of care for patients at high risk from SCA," according to Ahmed. "LifeVest allows physicians to protect patients during their period of highest risk early after an acute cardiac event such as a myocardial infarction or newly diagnosed nonischemic cardiomyopathy, when other therapies are not appropriate due to the patient's changing condition and the potential for cardiac recovery."

The LifeVest is used for a wide range of patient conditions or situations, including following a heart attack, before or after bypass surgery or stent placement, as well as for those with cardiomyopathy or congestive heart failure that places them at particular risk.

The LifeVest is covered by most health plans in the United States, including commercial, state and federal plans.

Hurley Medical Center is a 443-bed premier public teaching hospital in the heart of Genesee County. As the region's only level one trauma center, burn center and the highest-level neonatal intensive care unit available in Genesee County, Hurley is a recognized leader in clinical care and education. It has affiliations with Michigan State University, the UM-Ann Arbor, the UM-Flint, Mott Community College and Henry Ford Health System. Hurley, founded in 1908, provides patient care for more than 100,000 people annually.

(Note: This report is provided as a service to our readers and a service to the group or individual mentioned in the release. Usually, only minor editing is done. The group or individual is responsible for all information provided.)

 

 

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