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JARMC implanting newest heart device

By Staff
NEW IMPROVED SYSTEM Dr. Michael Purvis, a cardiologist with the Internal Medicine Clinic in Meridian, looks over images of a heart fitted with the newest generation of a device that acts as a combination pacemaker and defibrillator. Photo by Steve Gillespie/The Meridian Star
By Steve Gillespie / staff writer
Oct. 21, 2003
Jeff Anderson Regional Medical Center is the first hospital in the state to implant the newest generation of a device that has dramatically changed the quality of life for patients with heart problems.
Bobby Carmichael of Meridian is a living example of the benefits of the Medtronic InSync II Marquis cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) system. The device is the latest advanced model of a combination pacemaker/defibrillator that was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in July.
Carmichael, 56, had the device implanted at Anderson in August by Dr. Michael Purvis, a cardiologist with the Internal Medicine Clinic in Meridian.
Carmichael has relied on pacemakers to control his irregular heartbeat since 1975. He has been on disability since 1983 because of his condition. He said the Medtronic InSync II Marquis CRT system is the fourth implanted device he has had.
Carmichael said he has had several heart attacks over the years and that his heart was only functioning at about 40 percent of its full potential. But he can feel the difference now, so much so, he hopes he can do some hunting and fishing.
The Medtronic InSync II Marquis CRT system offers improved patient-tailored options. The device is inserted in the patient's upper chest with three wires that connect to the heart. Two leads, or tiny insulated wires, carry electrical impulses through the vascular system to the inner walls of the right side of the heart.
A third lead is threaded through the middle of the heart into a vein on the exterior wall of the left ventricle.
Some previous pacemakers, like the last one Carmichael said he used, only had one lead to regulate his heartbeat. The physician programs the device to deliver electrical impulses when needed to make each chamber of the heart pump better.
The new system also provides implantable cardiac defibrillation, better known as ICD an electrical shock that acts as a defibrillator Purvis said patients with severe heart failure have an increased risk of sudden cardiac death.
About the size of a small stopwatch, the new system continuously monitors a patient's heart rate for abnormally fast rhythms, called ventricular arrhythmias.
Purvis said that the new device not only paces the heart if it goes too slow, like a pacemaker, and shocks the heart out of dangerous rhythms that may develop, it improves the patient's stamina by pacing both sides of the heart simultaneously.
Device, procedure
advanced quickly
Purvis first implanted an earlier version of the new device two years ago on a man who said that combing his hair caused him to have shortness of breath. Carmichael performed the operation in Biloxi. He said the procedure then was new and difficult.
He said the tools used in the procedure and the device itself advanced at a rapid pace.
Purvis said the prime candidates for the new device are people who have had a heart attack followed by congestive heart failure symptoms.
He said that in addition to getting the device implanted, patients can now get their follow up care in Meridian. He said a lot of people who had similar devices implanted in the past had to drive to Jackson or to Birmingham, Ala., for routine checkups and battery exchanges.
Purvis said the new device, "offers a profoundly beneficial treatment to the local population without having to travel."