An Answer for Fainting
Fainting can be a serious concern for many people. It can happen at any time, causing people who suffer from fainting episodes to give up driving, working and many other daily activities for fear of when one might strike. EKG or blood pressure tests can often lead doctors to results. However, for some, the tests do not help. A new device can.
Connie experiences fainting episodes. She recalls one event, “I closed my eyes, and I put my hand out to the wall just to steady myself, and that’s when I dropped.” That was the first time Connie fainted. After several times, she began to worry. She asked, “Why did that happen? What was I doing? You’re trying to match it up with the last time it happened.”
Connie is one of the 1.5 million people who see doctors each year because of fainting. One common cause is an irregular heartbeat. The cardiac electrophysiologist says for many people, including Connie, the problem doesn’t always show up with traditional tests. “Their symptoms may occur once a year or once every couple of years, and it’s impossible to catch it or reproduce it in the physician’s office”.
However, a new device helps doctors find the cause in 86 percent of patients who use it. A small incision is made, and the device is implanted into the patient’s body. It continuously monitors the heart’s activity, much like the black box on an airplane does.
When symptoms strike, the person presses a button that freezes the monitor’s recording. Doctors can then read the saved information and treat the patient the best way. This is just one of the first steps that we’re seeing in a whole new era of medicine with implanted devices. Dr. said.
Connie hopes the monitor will help doctors figure out what’s wrong with her. She says, “Maybe they would see something that would make them say, ‘Hey, now this makes sense.'” For most patients, the device detects an irregularly slow heartbeat. It’s fixed with a pacemaker.
Since the interview, Connie did have another episode. The monitor helped doctors determine Connie had a slow heartbeat, and she was treated with a pacemaker. The recording device costs between $2,500 and $3,000 and is usually covered by insurance.