Salinas Valley Memorial Completes Successful Implant of Cardiac Monitor and Alert System

Thursday, August 26, 2010 Heart Disease News
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Technology designed to alert patient to the need for medical attention and improve heart attack survival rates in high-risk patients

SALINAS, Calif., Aug. 25 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Imagine a day when you could be alerted to your impending heart attack before it happens. Research that got underway today at Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System could help that become a reality someday.

At 8:45 A.M. today, Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System launched its clinical participation in a national trial for the AngelMed Guardian System, when physicians implanted the Cardiac Monitor and Alert System into a high-risk heart patient. The AngelMed Guardian is designed to track significant changes in the heart's signals and let the patient know when it is time to contact the doctor, or even head straight to the emergency room.

"For our high risk patients, those who have already experienced a cardiac event, this technology could be potentially life-saving," said Robert Wlodarczyk, DO, the principle investigator for the clinical trial. "Monitoring heart signals remotely can give patients peace of mind that they will be alerted when they need to seek treatment. Early intervention could mean avoidance of a full scale heart attack."

The AngelMed Guardian system is the size of a standard pacemaker and has a lead into the heart with an external telemetry device and a programmer that aids physicians in evaluating heart signals. In the critical early moments, which could possibly be before symptoms are even present, a pager device alerts the patient to seek medical care.

"The clinical trials taking place at Salinas Valley Memorial are truly groundbreaking," said Sam Downing, MBA, MHA President/CEO of Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System. "This research project could bring us to the day when early warning will save countless lives from fatal heart attack."

According to the American Heart Association, one in every five deaths in the United States is attributable to coronary artery disease. Considering that half of all heart attack deaths take place within one hour of the onset of symptoms, this early warning could be the difference between life and death for some patients.

Salinas Valley Memorial's dedication to research is one part of a full continuum of care in the Harden Memorial Heart Program. Established more than 20 years ago, the program includes a range of services including the Stanford Cardiac Surgery Program at Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital, and the Cardiovascular Diagnostic Center at Ryan Ranch, which operates through a partnership with Toshiba America Medical Systems. The Ryan Ranch facility has been designated as Toshiba's primary United States research site in cardiac MRI.

"A commitment to research is critical to our mission," said Nathan Olivas, President of the Board of Directors for Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System. "You rarely see this level of groundbreaking research in a community this size. It is a testament to the caliber of this organization that we attract the attention of national research trails such as this one."

Contact: Adrienne Laurent 831-759-1966

SOURCE Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System

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