Paducahan Danny Myatt holds Western Baptist close to his heart. Literally.
Plagued by frequent irregular heart beats and chest pain, Myatt, 61, recently was hospitalized at Western Baptist. When his heart had to be shocked after sudden cardiac arrest caused him to lose consciousness, cardiologist Ralph Millsaps, M.D., recommended lifesaving new technology.
Myatt was fitted for a LifeVest, the world’s first wearable defibrillator that detects arrhythmia and administers lifesaving shocks to restore the heart’s normal rhythm. The compact device, worn in a holster, uses electrodes held in place by an elastic belt.
The LifeVest constantly monitors heart rhythm. If it detects a dangerously fast rhythm, the device warns the person to respond. If he or she cannot respond, it asks those around the person not to touch him or her and to call for help. The device then gives a treatment shock to restore the heart to a normal rhythm.
Dr. Millsaps said people at risk for sudden cardiac arrest are ideal candidates for the LifeVest.
“Wearing the LifeVest ensures immediate treatment for cardiac arrest no matter where a patient may be,” said Dr. Millsaps. “It’s like having a physician or emergency medical professional with someone at all times.”
Myatt said the new device gives him incredible peace of mind. “It’s reassuring not only to me, but also to my family,” Myatt said. “After experiencing sudden cardiac arrest in the hospital, I realized that if I had been at home when that happened, I may not be here today. Wearing the LifeVest, I feel much more secure.”
Like most people fitted for the LifeVest, Myatt will wear the device for three to six months before receiving a permanent implantable pacemaker that will function in the same manner.