Can lives be saved if the same heart rate monitors were worn during sleep and or bedtime?
Patient A is an elderly man who has a slow heartbeat due to exercise and physical activity he endured years ago and still continues from time to time. His cardiologist saw nothing unusual about his heart as indicative of his labs and EKG. However, over several months Patient A's heart rate gradually slowed to under 40 bpm(beats per minute) at times. This was during the day and with a regular routine. Patient A also complained of having no energy. Patient A was using a home heart rate monitor to obtain readings. Patient A's spouse told Patient A "You need to go see your cardiologist again, this is not right!" Patient A listened to the nagging of his spouse for quite a while and then decided to do something about it. Patient A then visited his cardiologist. The cardiologist who had been treating the patient for several years tried to reassure Patient A and his spouse that all was fine and said "Believe me if there was something wrong, he would notice." The cardiologist then checked Patient A's heart rate monitor, and then the cardiologist checked Patient A himself, which indicated the same results as Patient A's home monitor. The cardiologist ordered an EKG which revealed at heart rate of 35bpm(beats per minute). The cardiologist informed Patient A that he needed the usual echo and nuclear stress test for evaluation. The cardiologist began to worry because he had not paid attention to the slower heart rates during the last few visits because the patient had come to the cardiologist before and it was noted that Patient A has a slow heart rate or bradycardia. The cardiologist handed the patient's spouse a nighttime heart rate monitor. "Here" he said, "Use this, an alarm will sound if your husbands heart rate gets any slower while he sleeps or overnight. If it does I want him to go to the hospital." "Thanks" she said. "You expect me to know how to work this thing, with my old mind, please." "You chatted enough in the waitingroom and seemed to like to know more than anybody else. Please have those tests scheduled promptly so we can get the results." The cardiologist then walked out of the office so he could see the next patient. "So what do we do now asked the spouse of Patient A?"
The Nighttime Heart Rate Monitor and external alarm clock
The Nighttime Heart Rate Monitor works just like a regular heart rate monitor. It can be worn on the chest or wrist and connects with a strap. The Nighttime Heart Rate Monitor has an external alarm clock. The Nighttime Heart Rate Monitor's transmitter sends the result of the heart rate to the external alarm clock. The alarm clock sounds when in distress eg. a heart rate below 40bpm or a heart rate over 100bpm. The alarm becomes louder and says "emergency" if rates are lower than 35bpm or higher than 110bpm. This will awaken the patient or family member so that the next course of action can be taken eg. aspirin therapy or medical intervention.
Patient A took the Nighttime Heart Rate Monitor and external alarm clock home and began to use it, by following the instructions. Patient A, then chose to wear the Nighttime Heart Rate Monitor on his wrist. The external alarm clock indicated his current heart rate at 40bpm as did the monitor Patient A was wearing on his wrist. Patient A then went about his day, by making the necessary appointments and putting them off for a few weeks so that he and his spouse could go on a two week vacay. "I'll do all of this stuff when I get back, or at least that's when I made the appointments for. I really just wanna relax." The Patient A and his spouse went to bed and several hours later the alarm sounded so loud that it awoke both of them. "What's wrong?" he asked. The patient's spouse said, "Obviously, your heart! Look it says 34bpm. I'm calling an ambulance." And so she did. Patient A, was admitted to the hospital, tests were done right then and there and thus Patient A was given a pacemaker, since his current medications were unable to regulate his heart rate to an acceptable one.
"Whew!" said Patient A, a few days later. "I'm feeling like myself again." "I'm glad you are." said the patient's spouse. "Because, I may have cancelled those tests because you had them in the hospital, but I sure wasn't going to cancel my vacay...I was going with you or without!" "Oh really!" said Patient A. "Just don't forget to pack the Nighttime Heart Rate Monitor with external alarm clock." They both laughed.