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SVMHS Research to Evaluate Implantable Cardiac Monitor & Alert System

Technology designed to alert patient to the need for medical attention
and improve heart attack survival rates in high-risk patients


What: Heart Catheterization Lab procedure implanting cardiac monitor and alert system in high-risk patient, representing the clinical launch of ALERTS Pivotal Study at Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System

Where: Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital Heart Catheterization Lab, 450 East Romie Lane, Salinas, CA

When: Wednesday, August 25th, 2010, 8:30 A.M. Media who wish to witness this procedure should meet in the SVMH front lobby at 8:30 A.M.


Background: Imagine a day when you could be alerted to your impending heart attack before it happens. Research getting underway at Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System could help that become a reality someday.

On August 25, 2010 Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System will launch its clinical participation in a national trial for the AngelMed Guardian System, when it implants the Cardiac Monitor and Alert System into a high-risk heart patient. The AngelMed Guardian is designed to track significant changes in the heart's signals and let the patient know when it is time to contact the doctor, or even head straight to the emergency room.

"For our high risk patients, those who have already experienced a cardiac event, this technology could be potentially life-saving," said Robert Wlodarczyk, DO, the principle investigator for the clinical trial. "Monitoring heart signals remotely can give patients peace of mind that they will be alerted when they need to seek treatment. Early intervention could mean avoidance of a full scale heart attack."

The AngelMed Guardian system is the size of a standard pacemaker and has a lead into the heart with an external telemetry device and a programmer that aids physicians in evaluating heart signals. In the critical early moments, which could possibly be before symptoms are even present, a pager device alerts the patient to seek medical care.

"The clinical trials taking place at Salinas Valley Memorial are truly groundbreaking," said Sam Downing, MBA, MHA President/CEO of Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System. "This research project could bring us to the day when early warning will save countless lives from fatal heart attack."

According the American Heart Association, one in every five deaths in the United States is attributable to coronary artery disease. Considering that half of all heart attack deaths take place within one hour of the onset of symptoms, this early warning could be the difference between life and death for some patients.

"When someone has a heart attack, it is typically the result of a blood clot closing one of the three major coronary arteries. When this happens, there is a shift in the ST segment of the heart signal caused by the electrical difference between the portion of the heart muscle fed by the closed artery and the rest of the heart that is still receiving oxygen," said AngelMed's CEO, David Fischell, Ph.D. "The ALERTS trial is designed to test the Guardian's ability to detect this electrical shift in a clinical setting and then provide an early warning to patients that could potentially save their lives."

Salinas Valley Memorial's dedication to research is one part of a full continuum of care in the Harden Memorial Heart Program. Established more than 20 years ago, the program includes a range of services including the Stanford Cardiac Surgery Program at Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital, and the Cardiovascular Diagnostic Center at Ryan Ranch, which operates through a partnership with Toshiba America Medical Systems. The Ryan Ranch facility has been designated as Toshiba's primary United States research site in cardiac MRI.

"A commitment to research is critical to our mission," said Nathan Olivas, President of the Board of Directors for Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System. "You rarely see this level of groundbreaking research in a community this size. It is a testament to the caliber of this organization that we attract the attention of national research trails such as this one."


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