GREENVILLE, NC (WNCT)- Six million people nationwide live with heart failure. One patient in the east is controlling his by using a CardioMEM. Vidant is the only medical center in Eastern North Carolina to have the wireless device.
Two months ago Richie Thornburn was rushed to the hospital due to his ongoing heart failure. Something his wife says, was a terrifying experience.
“Since his heart attack that was about as close as I think we’ve come to losing him,” Richie’s wife, Kim Thornburn said.
The Thorburns say they used to live in fear because they never knew what could happen.
“He now feels more confident, that okay well I’m not going to be fine today and die tomorrow, and that was kind of the attitude he had,” Kim Thornburn said.
All that confidence is from CardioMEMS. A small wireless device used to monitor heart failure patients.
Thorburn’s doctor, Dr. Hassan Alhosaini, said, “this technology allows us to be more proactive in identifying the progression of the disease earlier.”
A small sensor is implanted into patients. They lay on a pillow for 10 seconds each day and a machine sends back their data. Doctors say this device allows them to catch things before they become critical.
“We get to monitor the data and see if we exceed a certain threshold then we know that our patient is beginning to worsen. We can then call the patient and implement changes in his or her medical therapy,” Dr, Alhosaini said.
The Thorburns who live 30 minutes away from Vidant, feel comforted knowing someone is monitoring Richie’s health from afar.
“My moods been better, my quality of life is better, like my wife says, it’s like a safety net for ya,” Richie Thornburn said.
“I don’t have to watch him as closely because I know that someone that’s experienced and can understand what’s going on is actually watching him,” Kim Thornburn said.
Thornburn says the device is easy to use and he would recommend it to other heart failure patients.