Thursday, March 12, 2009

Can Heart Attacks be Predicted to Save Lives?

About one of every five deaths in the United States are attributed to heart diseases. However, scientists may now well be on their way to make heart attack prediction possible so that many lives can be saved.

Heart disease is term used for a range of different diseases affecting the heart. They are often treated by surgery and cardiovascular drugs.

Even though from 1995 to 2005 the death rate from heart disease declined 34 percent, there still is a lot of potential for it to decrease further with the aid of technology. A device is being tested to monitor the heart and raise a red flag in time so that early help can be sought.

The Life Saving Technology

Called the AngelMed Guardian system, the device is about the size of a standard pacemaker is meant to be installed inside the skin close to the collarbone with a wire placed in the right chamber of the heart.

It comprises an external telemetry device and and a programmer meant to help the medics assess the heart signals. The job of the device will be to monitor a person's heart's activity for signs that may indicate an impending heart attack.

As soon as the implanted diagnostic equipment finds that something's gone amiss inside the heart, making use of Bluetooth technology and pagers, it will sound an alert to others so that quick medical attention can be provided to the patient. Also, the more disturbing or acute the symptoms of an upcoming heart attack, stronger the alert this device transmits.

According to experts, the maximum damage to the heart occurs during the first two hours after a coronary gets blocked during a heart attack. And most of the time patients take about three hours to recognize an oncoming heart attack, so help often reaches late to the sufferers. However, the unique ability of this device is that it can recognize the warning signs and sound an alert hours before the attack actually occurs thus helping doctors save lives.

Still undergoing Phase II clinical trials, if all goes well then it may actually be able to predict heart attacks and save lives.

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