Medical Minute 3-25: Helping Bad Hearts Survive Heart Disease

By: Vanessa Welch Email
By: Vanessa Welch Email

Every moment is a bonus moment for Elmer Goodman. A few months ago, he found out he has heart disease.

"One artery was completely blocked, and one was three-quarters blocked," said Elmer Goodman.

After a quadruple bypass, Elmer still didn't feel well. He then had a cardiac resynchronization device with a defibrillator implanted. Doctor Wojciech Zareba says the device is saving lives.

"It's probably one of the most spectacular effects of therapy we can see," said Wojciech Zareba, M.D., Cardiologist, University of Rochester.

Cardiac resynchronization therapy is used for advanced heart failure, but doctors studied it as a new way to prevent patients with mild disease from developing more advanced heart failure, it worked. They found a 34% reduced risk of death or heart failure in those patients.

"This is, for us, extremely, extremely encouraging results."

Doctors implant the device and connect wire leads to the heart chambers and heart wall via vessels. The device sends electrical impulses to both sides of the heart.

"It's like turning on the light. All of the sudden, in a few seconds, minutes, this heart is improving. It starts contracting better."

Elmer felt the effects right away. Now, he has a lot more energy to do the things he loves.

"I'm happy to be able to go out and do things. It's really changed the quality of my life."

And that, he says, is priceless.

For more information on other series produced by Ivanhoe Broadcast News contact John Cherry at (407) 691-1500,

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