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Gagnon Cardiovascular Institute Becomes First In NJ To Offer Patients A New Heart Failure Monitoring Solution

November 12, 2014

November 12, 2014, Morristown, NJ – Today, the Gagnon Cardiovascular Institute at Morristown Medical Center was the first facility in New Jersey to implant a new miniaturized, wireless monitoring sensor to manage heart failure (HF). The CardioMEMS HF System is the first and only FDA-approved heart failure monitoring device that has been proven to significantly reduce hospital admissions when used by physicians to manage heart failure.

The CardioMEMS HF System features a sensor that is implanted in the pulmonary artery (PA) during a non-surgical procedure to directly measure PA pressure. Increased PA pressures appear before weight and blood pressure changes, which are often used as indirect measures of worsening heart failure. The new system allows patients to transmit daily sensor readings from their homes to their health care providers allowing for personalized and proactive management to reduce the likelihood of hospitalization.

“It is rewarding for Gagnon to be the first cardiac care center in New Jersey to implant the CardioMEMS system,” said Linda Gillam, MD, MPH, chair, Cardiovascular Medicine, Atlantic Health System. “This procedure is a major triumph of technology that offers patients a way to manage their heart disease and avoid hospitalization.”

“We are thrilled to offer this innovative technology with its ability to treat and improve outcomes for heart failure patients,” said Robert Kipperman, MD, who performed the procedure. “This new technology allows for proactive management of heart failure and will greatly benefit patients, caregivers, their families and the greater health care economy.”

Heart failure occurs when the heart is unable to pump enough blood to meet the body’s demands. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 5.1 million Americans have heart failure, with 670,000 new cases diagnosed each year. Patients with heart failure are frequently hospitalized, have a reduced quality of life and face a higher risk of death.Angela O’Neil, 75, from Rockaway, NJ has been treated for heart failure at Gagnon Cardiovascular Institute and said she is excited to be trying this new technology. She said, “I received a pacemaker back in 1997 and it is amazing to me how far technology has come.  I look forward to being able to go shopping without having to rest every few steps to catch my breath and being able to sleep through the night without feeling like I am drowning.”

The CardioMEMS sensor is designed to last the lifetime of the patient and doesn’t require batteries. Once implanted, the wireless sensor sends pressure readings to an external patient electronic system. There is no pain or sensation for the patient during the readings. The CardioMEMS HF System allows the patients to transmit critical information about their heart failure status to a clinician on a regular basis, without the need for additional clinic or hospital visits. This provides clinicians with the ability to detect worsening heart failure sooner and adjust treatment to reduce the likelihood that the patient will need to be hospitalized.

Data from a clinical trial showed that the CardioMEMS technology reduces heart failure hospital admissions by up to 37 percent. The CHAMPION trial studied the effectiveness of the CardioMEMS HF System in New York Heart Association (NYHA) Functional Classification System class III heart failure patients who had been hospitalized for heart failure in the previous 12 months. Results of the trial demonstrated a statistically significant 28 percent reduction in the rate of heart failure hospitalizations at six months, and 37 percent reduction in heart failure hospitalizations during an average follow-up duration of 15 months.

Roughly 1.4 million patients in the U.S. have NYHA Class III heart failure, and historically these patients account for nearly half of all heart failure hospitalizations. According to the American Heart Association, the estimated direct and indirect cost of heart failure in the U.S. for 2012 was $31 billion and that number is expected to more than double by 2030.“Being able to offer CardioMEMs HF System is another example of our commitment to constantly evolving, improving patient care and investing in innovative medical technology,” said David Shulkin, MD, president, Morristown Medical Center. “Gagnon Cardiovascular Institute is committed to finding solutions for successful patient outcomes in the diagnosis or treatment of heart failure and doing everything we can to avoid unnecessary hospital admissions.”

The CardioMEMS HF System, from global medical device manufacturer St. Jude Medical, is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for commercial use in the U.S. Learn more >

About Morristown Medical Center

Morristown Medical Center, located in Morristown, NJ, is part of Atlantic Health System, one of the largest non-profit health care systems in New Jersey. Accredited by The Joint Commission, the hospital was recognized by U.S. News & World Report as a top hospital nationwide for cardiology and heart surgery, gynecology, geriatrics, orthopedics and pulmonology. Morristown Medical Center also ranked as a “Best Regional Hospital” for cancer, diabetes & endocrinology, neurology and neurosurgery, as well as gastroenterology & GI Surgery, nephrology and urology. Morristown Medical Center’s Gagnon Cardiovascular Institute performs more cardiac surgeries than any other hospital in New Jersey, placing its cardiac program in the top two percent in the country. Morristown Medical Center is verified as a Level I Regional Trauma Center by the American College of Surgeons and designated a Level II by the state of New Jersey and was re-designated a Magnet Hospital for Excellence in Nursing Service, the highest level of recognition by American Nurses Credentialing Center for facilities that provide acute care services, a distinction awarded to less than five percent of U.S. hospitals. Learn more >