Friday, October 7, 2011
Medical Reports: Guardian Angel
Heart attack is one of the leading causes of death in this country. Sometimes they strike without warning and at other times patients ignore the warning signs. Now one local hospital is hoping a new device they are studying can save more lives. 7s Craig Stevens shows us how a little device may prove to be someone's "Guardian angel."
WSVN -- Gregg Bernard was traveling and experiencing the great outdoors when the unthinkable happened.
Gregg Bernard: "My first heart attack was in 2005."
He had classic symptoms.
Gregg Bernard: "I started sweating, pain in my chest, tightness radiating down my arm."
Because Gregg was only 40 even the ER doctors couldn't believe what was happening.
Gregg Bernard: "It was hard for them to believe that somebody my age was having a heart attack."
He survived then six years later more pain.
Gregg Bernard: "It felt like something or somebody was sitting on my chest."
But this time Gregg wasn't sure what was going on.
Gregg Bernard: "I didn't feel that in the first heart attack. With this one, I felt like this was the end for me."
Gregg was having a second heart attack. Turns out, he had warning signs months before but didn't know it. Then he enrolled in a clinical trial at Holy Cross Hospital called The Alerts Study using a little device called Angelmed.
Dr. Rashi Anand: "The purpose of the trial is to investigate whether this device has the capability of alerting a patient sooner rather than later to the early onset of a heart attack."
The device is implanted just under the skin in the chest wall, and a wire is placed inside the heart. If something is wrong, it alerts the patient through a series of beeps and vibrations.
Dr. Rashi Anand: "The device would not only give the patient a vibration sense, but also give them an audible alert that says go to the ER or go see your doctor, something may be going on."
Gregg hopes that it will not only warn him of heart trouble but also let him know if it's life-threatening.
Gregg Bernard: "This will alert me go to the hospital, or this will alert me maybe something is not right, go to your doctor."
Dr. Anand hopes Angel-Med can help give patients more control.
Dr. Rashi Anand: "What more can we offer to a gentleman to put him in the driver's seat of his medical disease process."
Gregg is looking forward to a long and healthy life and says this little device is giving him peace of mind.
Gregg Bernard: "It's the guardian angel and it's to save my life."
Craig Stevens: "Good candidates for this study are those who've had a prior heart attack or have had bypass surgery within the past six months."
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Holy Cross Hospital
Tel: (954) 229-8400