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2009 Press Releases

Englewood Hospital Cardiac Experts and LifeVest™ Save Patient

When Randy Jameson arrived at Englewood Hospital and Medical Center for treatment of mild chest discomfort, he didn’t know that he was at risk for dangerous heart rhythm abnormalities that could suddenly threaten his life.

A prompt heart evaluation revealed that Jameson had heart damage and was in danger of potentially suffering from lethal heart rhythm irregularities even though standard treatments for opening up blocked heart arteries were effectively employed.

Dangerous heart rhythms can be treated with an implantable pacemaker-like device called a defibrillator. However, guidelines require waiting months before surgery. “Despite these guidelines,we called our electrophysiology specialists because we had just reviewed new data on patients like Mr. Jameson who might benefit from the temporary, early use of a wearable defibrillator vest or LifeVest™,” said Dr. Goldweit, chief of Cardiology at Englewood Hospital.

The LifeVest™ is a non-invasive device that monitors a patient’s heart to detect life-threatening abnormal heart rhythms. If a life-threatening rhythm is detected and the patient is unconscious, the device delivers an electrical shock to restore normal rhythm. The vest is worn under clothing and weighs 1.8 pounds. “Typically, patients recommended for implantable defibrillator surgery must go through a three-month observation period prior to getting the device,” explains Dr. Dmitry Nemirovsky, a cardiologist/electrophysiology specialist at Englewood Hospital’s Arrhythmia Center. Jameson initially refused the vest. However, doctors swayed him and saved his life.

“We prescribed the LifeVest™ because we felt that there was a strong possibility of a lethal heart rhythm before the three months passed,” says Dr. Grant Simons, director of Electrophysiology.

Just an hour after arriving at his Saddle Brook home, Jameson suffered a potentially lethal heart rhythm change. The LifeVest™ set off a warning alarm and activated. Family rushed to his aid only to find him alert but unaware that a cardiac arrest had just occurred. He was taken back to Englewood Hospital where doctors stabilized him.

“We make every effort to apply the latest data and advances to achieve the best possible outcome and, in Mr. Jameson’s case, the effect could not have been more dramatic,” says Dr. Goldweit.“This approach has helped Englewood Hospital rank No. 1 in New Jersey and No. 3 nationwide for 30-day patient heart attack survival, according to recent government data released by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).”