At 87 years old, Angelo C. likes to stay on the go. The Winthrop, Massachusetts resident attends church every day, goes to the mall and grocery store once a week, and likes to hang out downtown. His motorized wheelchair and heart condition don’t slow him down.
Angelo, who has congestive heart failure, regularly sees Cardiologist Dr. Joseph Carrozza at St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center. As part of his treatment plan, Angelo is benefiting from the state-of-the-art CardioMEMS™ System, which features a miniature wireless monitoring system that is implanted in the pulmonary artery during a minimally invasive procedure to directly measure pulmonary artery pressure. What make this system unique is it allows Angelo to transmit pulmonary artery pressure data from his home to his health care team allowing for personalized and proactive management to reduce the likelihood of hospitalization so he can continue to enjoy his lively lifestyle.
“Angelo was a perfect candidate for CardioMEMs,” says Dr. Carrozza. “I explained to him that the greatest benefit of having the implanted monitoring system is that it will keep him out of the hospital.”
On March 20, 2016, Dr. Carrozza performed the hour-long, painless procedure to insert the monitoring system using a catheter into Angelo’s pulmonary artery. He was awake throughout the whole procedure and following the procedure, he had to stay still, without moving, for six hours. During this recovery period, the cardiac catheterization lab nursing staff cared for him.
“The nursing staff was fantastic and went above and beyond to help me,” says Angelo.
“I use The Ride to get back and forth to St. Elizabeth’s. When the driver arrived to take me home after the procedure, my six hours wasn’t up and they left. I had no way to get home. One of the nurses said ‘I’m going to take care of you.’ She arranged for an ambulance to take me home, as well as confirmed my insurance would cover the transport. She and another nurse stayed well after their shifts ended to make sure I was taken care of and got me into the ambulance. They didn’t go home until I got home.”
Nowadays, back at home in the early afternoon, Angelo takes a break from his daily activities to hook himself up to the CardioMEMS™ System for his reading. His fastest reading was three seconds, and the longest was 15 seconds. He feels the time it takes for a reading all depends on the positioning of his body.
“It is amazing that I am here, at my home, and my doctor, in Boston, can receive my exam and know if I am okay or if I need something, like an adjustment in my medicine,” says Angelo. “This is such a benefit to me, the patient. It is like having a doctor in my house everyday giving me an exam. What more could you want?”