New Delhi : Dr. Ashok Seth, Chairman, Fortis Escorts Heart Institute, led the introduction of yet another life- saving technology for the first time in India; a wearable defibrillator called ‘LifeVest’, which treats cardiac arrest and saves lives especially after a massive heart attack.
Karan Nanda, a 37-years young man suffered a massive heart attack while playing football and was transferred to FEHI in a shock state, on a ventilator and heart support devices. He suffered multiple cardiac arrests and was revived.
He underwent an emergent angioplasty to open up blocked artery by Dr Seth and his team, and gradually over next three weeks, recovered to survive.
While Karan Nanda feels normal now and is gradually resuming his daily life and activities, the massive heart attack puts him at risk for a further sudden cardiac arrest for a period of next couple of months after which his risks could get lower.
Hence, the permanent and conventional implantable defibrillator (ICD) was not implanted and he was given this wearable defibrillator.
The ‘LifeVest’ is an innovative life saving device wearable like a ‘baniyan’ practically throughout the day as the patient resume his daily life and activities with ultimate protection of life as it would treat a cardiac arrest effectively were it to happen.
Karan Nanda is now able to go to work and for walks with the device constantly sensing his heart rate and rhythm and ready to deliver treatment and save his life when and if a situation arose.
The ‘LifeVest’ has been used in three young victims of heart attack over the last six months, and all three have been between 25-40 years young and suffered massive heart attacks.
The LifeVest is prescribed for patients at risk for Sudden Cardiac Death (SCD), including patients suffering from cardiomyopathy or congestive heart failure that places them at particular risk. The device is an interim protection while the SCD risk has not been established and the treating doctor requires time to assess the patient’s arrhythmic risks and to plan the best treatment procedures.
The device is lightweight, worn like a vest and allows the patient to return to their daily chores with ease while reducing the stress of a SCA (Sudden Cardiac Arrest). While the device continuously monitors the patient’s heart it is also designed to delivers a treatment shock to restore normal heart rhythm if a life-threatening heart rhythm is detected.
Dr. Ashok Sethe said, “We are continuously challenged by cases where planning an immediate treatment solution may not be viable. The case may also need to be properly studied and evaluated for the best medical treatment to be arrived at. In such cases a device with the protection it gives a patient enables us to plan better, knowing that the risks of a sudden cardiac arrest to a patient are minimal while doing so.”
Dr. Somesh Mittal, Zonal Director FEHI said, “FEHI is rich with the best team of cardiologists tirelessly committed to introducing newer treatment solutions and taking the organization to higher levels of achievement. With the introduction of the LifeVest we are opening yet another option to patients where they can weigh the options doctors suggest for their family member.”
The patient, Karan Nanda said, “I really owe my life to Dr. Seth who has put my life back onto tracks. My entire family is so obliged to him for saving my life.”
In India, heart attacks affect an estimated 1.3 to 4.6 million people, and almost quarter million are newly diagnosed every year. Patients newly diagnosed with heart attacks have a high mortality rate, up to 40% in the first year, including a high risk of sudden cardiac death (SCD). Compared to the general population, SCD occurs 6-9 times more frequently in heart attack patients, and an acute event such as hospitalization for heart failure decompensation or myocardial infarction increases the SCD risk. Likewise, a heart attack patient’s condition can improve from the benefits of optimized medical therapy, which can require up to three months or more to stabilize.