Heart failure

Austin Doctors Help Prevent Heart Failure


Houston doctors transport a patient with cardiac arrest. Photo: John Moore / Getty Images

Doctors at St. David’s Medical Center in downtown Austin are among the first in the United States to use new technology to help treat advanced heart failure.

The big picture: Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

  • In the United States, a person dies every 36 seconds from cardiovascular disease.

How it works: The new technology uses the nervous system to prevent heart failure.

  • The innovation consists in implanting a programmable device under the patient’s collarbone.
  • The FDA-approved device sends electrical pulses to sensors on our hearts that detect changes in blood pressure.

What they say : The set of pulses “make the body think … the nervous systems are functioning properly,” said Jeffrey Apple, a vascular surgeon with cardiothoracic and vascular surgeons who first performed the procedure at St. David’s in August. .

  • “The brain then responds and sends messages to the body indicating that the heart is working properly. This relaxes the blood vessels, slows the heart rate and reduces fluids in the body,” Apple said.


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