(WNDU) – 6 million Americans live with heart failure, a condition in which the heart cannot pump blood well enough to meet the body’s needs.
People with heart failure are exhausted, they may feel weak, have difficulty breathing, and have swollen legs and feet.
Heart failure is usually the result of coronary artery disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes, and is more common in people age 65 or older, African Americans, overweight people, and people who had a heart attack. Men have a higher rate of heart failure than women.
For the first time in the United States, researchers at Ohio State have successfully used an experimental device designed to treat patients with worsening heart failure.
Robert Dye, 66, was eager to get his boat out of storage.
It was the first time in over a year that he had energy.
“I couldn’t walk any distance,” Dye recalled. “I couldn’t even walk from bed to my recliner without getting out of breath.”
One day last fall, Robert couldn’t breathe.
He was gray. His limbs were frozen. At his local hospital, doctors told his wife something terrifying.
“That he was more dead than alive,” Susan Dye said. “It was awful because he’s mine and I didn’t want anything to happen.”
Robert had worsening heart failure. Doctors thought he would be a good candidate for an experimental Cardiac Pulmonary Nerve Stimulation System, or CPNS.
“The device is actually a series of electrodes that deliver an electrical stimulus directly to nerves,” said Sitaramesh Emani, a cardiologist at Ohio State Wexner Medical Center.
The electrodes are placed in a metal basket. Doctors then inserted it through a catheter into a vein in Dye’s neck until it reached the artery just behind the heart. The controller was strapped to the outside of his neck. For four days, Dye’s doctors delivered stimulation to the nerves at the back of the heart, then removed the device.
“We think the heart beats harder, beats better when this therapy is on,” Dr. Emani said.
Dye says he felt much better immediately.
“I walked a mile on the hospital floor,” Robert Dye remarked.
“I wanted to hold her hand because it was hot,” Susan Dye commented.
A procedure giving patients more time with the people they love and a chance to do the things they love to do.
While Dye was the first in the United States to use this system, it is also being tested in Europe and South America. It’s important to note that the doctor in this story is on the scientific advisory board of Cardionomic, the company that made the system.
Copyright 2022 WNDU. All rights reserved.