John Diaz, 73, of Laguna Woods, had been living with heart failure for
several years. Like many patients with this condition, he had been in
and out of the hospital many times due to an increase in symptoms or complications
of the disease.
“It was a challenge for my wife and me to monitor my symptoms at
home every day,” said John. “We were constantly worried if
a change in my weight, fluid levels or blood pressure were cause for concern.”
John is not alone. Heart failure affects nearly 6 million Americans and
is one of the most common reasons people age 65 and older go into the
hospital. A diagnosis of heart failure doesn’t mean the heart has
stopped beating, rather the heart isn’t pumping blood as it should.
The heart keeps working, but the body’s need for blood and oxygen
isn’t being met. As a result, fluid can build up in the body and
cause swelling in the feet, ankles, legs, lungs or other organs. Heart
failure is typically treated with medication and daily weight checks to
monitor fluid, but oftentimes patients fall ill or experience an unexpected
change in symptoms and end up in the hospital for treatment.
In 2016, John’s physician,
Dr. Sanjay Bhojraj, a cardiologist with
Mission Heritage Medical Group, told him about a breakthrough advancement in heart failure management.
The CardioMEMS™ HF System is implanted in the pulmonary artery during
a minimally invasive procedure and detects changes in artery pressure
— an early indication of worsening heart failure that is caught
before the patient notices symptoms such as shortness of breath or weight
gain. The dime-size implant transmits artery readings wirelessly to the
patient’s care team each morning, allowing them to adjust medication
or treatment without the need for a hospital visit.
Eager for a solution that would keep him out of the hospital and improve
his quality of life, John became the first person to receive the CardioMEMS
implant at Mission Hospital — the first hospital in south Orange
County to offer the FDA-approved heart failure monitor.
“For patients like John who suffer from congestive heart failure,
the risk for hospitalization has typically been very high,” said
Dr. Bhojraj, who performed the procedure. “We previously had no
way to monitor patients’ conditions without seeing them in the office
or hospital. The implant, which was inserted during a one-hour procedure
under light sedation, allows us to check John’s status remotely.
We monitor regularly and communicate via a text or phone to modify treatment
before the symptoms worsen.”
Since John had the device implanted, he hasn’t required a single
trip to the hospital — and plans to keep it that way. “I feel
much more confident in understanding what’s going on in my body,”
he said. “Knowing I have a team of doctors and nurses who are regularly
monitoring my levels helps me stay on top of my health and gives me the
peace of mind I need to be able to live life to the fullest.”
To find out more about the CardioMEMS™ HF System or to learn if the
treatment may be right for you, visit mission4health.com.