MUSC among first to perform implant of new heart monitor

Published: Apr. 16, 2014 at 9:44 PM EDT|Updated: Apr. 16, 2014 at 11:19 PM EDT
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New technology at MUSC could be the difference in saving a life.

The hospital's children's cardiology program is the first in the Southeast to implant mini-cardiac monitors in children.  Dr. Nicole Cain, an MUSC pediatric cardiologist, performed the first implants in late March.

"Essentially, it just watches all the heartbeats of the patient," she said.

The new device is approximately one-third the size of a AAA battery.  It boasts 20 percent more data memory than the previous model, and physicians can monitor a patient's heart for up to three years.

Adam Mereby, a 9-month old out of Greenville, was the youngest to receive the implant.

During a routine pre-natal visit, doctors discovered Mereby had a condition known as Wolfe-Parkinson-White Syndrome. It's an extra pathway in the heart's chambers that can cause an episode of dangerously fast heartbeats.

The syndrome is treatable, but can cause serious heart problems if not monitored closely.

In addition to treatment, doctors across the state will also keep an eye on Mereby's heart rhythms using the new device.

"We're pretty good at telling what's going on with him by looking at him, but that's the extra security of knowing that they can actually see what's taking place on the heart function," added Adam's father, Blake Mereby.

If a patient experiences a heart event, doctors receive an automated alert through a shared medical website.

The technology is designed for patients who experience symptoms such as dizziness, fainting, chest pain, and cardiac arrhythmia.

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