Pacemaker helps patient with congestive heart failure

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Deb T. may be one of the few people who like life insurance salespeople. Hers helped save her life.

After an underwriter notified her insurance broker of disturbing EKG results, he called to urge Deb to see her physician today. Deb had congestive heart failure. Her left ventricle was five centimeters bigger than her right. 

Her ejection fraction rating, the measurement of her heart’s pumping capacity, was between 20 and 25. Normal is 55, and 10 is classified as nonfunctional. As her condition quickly deteriorated, it dropped to 17. Deb couldn’t walk or sit up for more than 10 minutes.

“If you have a rapid heartbeat at night or you start hearing your heart racing, be sure to say something to your physician,” Deb said. “It is also important not to give up on the process of trying various medications and treatments.”

After optimizing her medications, her cardiologist recommended a biventricular pacemaker with ICD (implantable cardioverter defibrillator), which helps 70 percent of people with this condition. 

The pacemaker resets her heartbeat when it strays from regularity and has enabled her to exercise again, resume her work and have confidence in her life.

Today, her left ventricle is almost back to normal size and her ejection fraction is 46.

Categories:
  • Aging and older adults
  • Patient stories
  • Women's health
  • Heart health

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