Mary Joplin was out shopping with a friend one day, when she started feeling really sick, and asked her friend to take her to the hospital. When she got there, doctors found she had been retaining massive amounts of fluid, and diagnosed her with congestive heart failure. After draining 35 pounds of fluid from her body, doctors put her on a strict regimen of medicine to deal with the heart failure. But that regimen needed constant monitoring, and meant Mary might have to come to the doctor’s office several times a week for checkups.
But cardiologists at The University of Kansas Hospital had something brand new for Mary called the CardioMEMS Heart Failure System, and she became one of the first in the region to get the heart monitoring implant placed near her heart. The device, about the size and shape of a paper clip, measures and records the pressure in the pulmonary artery every day, and sends the information directly to the doctor’s office. It acts as an early warning system and lets doctors call Mary at home with medicine changes, saving her countless trips to their office or the hospital.
In the video, Dr. Andrew Sauer, director of the Heart Failure Program and co-director of heart transplantation at The University of Kansas Hospital, describes what heart failure is, who’s most at risk and why it’s a very dangerous disease. He also explains how it’s treated, how the CardioMEMS device works and why he’s so excited about being able to bring it to his patients. He also tells how Mary Joplin has benefited from the monitoring device.
The patient, Mary Joplin, describes her condition, tells what CardioMEMS has done for her, how the monitoring has gone so far and the great peace of mind it gives her. She also has advice for other heart failure patients unsure about having the implant.
Also included is video of Dr. Sauer with Mary Joplin, Dr. Sauer showing the implanted device inside of Mary on a scan of her heart, a close up of the CardioMEMS device next to a coin to give perspective, video from Mary Joplin’s home demonstrating the special pillow and transmitting device she uses to send information to the medical team, and animation of CardioMEMS being implanted, courtesy of St. Jude Medical.