Nate’s CardioMEMS™ HF System Story
Nate is 58 years old and retired from the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) in Philadelphia, where he worked for 30 years. He is a devoted family man and avid sports fan. The father to four daughters and a fun-loving uncle, he started his journey with heart failure back in 2009 after being put on dialysis to help his failing kidneys. After undergoing a kidney transplant, Nate’s heart failure symptoms began to worsen and he experienced swelling in his lower extremities, along with shortness of breath.
Heart failure, like what Nate experienced, occurs when the heart is unable to contract or relax properly. As a result, it cannot pump enough blood to meet the body’s needs. There is no cure, but many people with heart failure who receive proper treatment go on to live long, full and enjoyable lives. Symptoms of heart failure may include shortness of breath, fatigue, muscle pain or weakness. It can also cause problems during exercise, such as lightheadedness, dizziness or nausea. Heart failure is a condition that develops over time and can be caused from a variety of underlying diseases. Nate’s cardiologist attributed his heart failure to the nearly three years of dialysis he experienced.
While trying to manage his heart failure symptoms, Nate found himself in and out of the hospital at least five times over the course of two years, and in 2015 he had more than five visits to the emergency room. At that time, his doctor told him that he was a good candidate for the CardioMEMS™ HF System. It is the first and only FDA-approved heart failure (HF) monitoring system that is proven to significantly reduce HF hospital admissions and improve quality of life in New York Heart Association (NYHA) Class III patients.
The CardioMEMS™ HF system measures pulmonary artery pressure and heart rate through a sensor that is implanted in the pulmonary artery (the blood vessel that moves blood from the heart to the lungs). Once the device is implanted, patients take daily pressure readings from the comfort of their home and wirelessly transmit the data to their clinician for continuous monitoring.
The sensor is small and does not require any batteries or wires. Additionally, the patient will not feel it and it will not interfere with daily activities or other implanted devices such as a pacemaker or defibrillator. The system includes an electronic unit that is used to take the daily measurements. This is a simple process that takes only a few minutes. There is no pain or sensation during the readings.
The CardioMEMS HF System is helping Nate’s clinicians manage his heart failure thanks to the system’s personalized monitoring. He and his wife, Karen, no longer live in fear of the next hospital visit. Karen is also enjoying having some extra help around the house.
Since receiving his CardioMEMS™ PA sensor implant on October 19, 2015, Nate says he feels “awesome.” He is doing more walking and is able to sit up and watch a full football game with his nephews, which is an activity he loves. Nate is also learning Tai Chi and writing a book about his kidney transplant experience.
For Nate, the CardioMEMS HF System is a “gatekeeper.” It helps keep him in line. He would encourage other patients who are struggling with heart failure to consider the CardioMEMS HF System. It has given him the ability to be there for his loved ones.
Learn details about the CardioMEMS HF System and read more stories like Nate’s.
This story reflects one person’s experience; not everyone will experience the same results. Talk to your doctor about the benefits and risks of your treatment options. St. Jude Medical does not provide medical services or advice as part of this website. For a complete list of possible complications, refer to this important safety information.