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Norton Heart and Vascular Institute purchases lifesaving equipment for patients with heart failure

Norton Healthcare is the first hospital system in the region to invest in the Remote Dielectric Sensing system. This equipment will add to the care available for patients in the community with heart failure — a common heart condition that can be deadly.

The device uses medical radar technology in a wearable vest system, allowing direct and actionable lung fluid measurement. Care providers can immediately read the results and take action.

“With heart failure, the amount of fluid on the lungs is a concern,” said Kelly McCants, M.D., cardiologist and heart failure specialist with Norton Heart and Vascular Institute Advanced Heart Failure Program. “This technology allows us to respond very quickly to change medication and educate the patient on steps they can take to help reduce their internal fluid.”

Heart failure occurs when the heart gradually loses its ability to pump blood or adequately fill with blood. This leads to fluid retention. When someone has too much fluid on their lungs, it causes shortness of breath. The heart then must work even harder to pump blood. All of this greatly impacts a person’s quality of life.

The vest will be integrated into a variety of patient care areas throughout Norton Healthcare, specifically in the Norton Audubon Hospital emergency department and intensive care unit as well as during patient office visits as an ongoing monitoring process for patients who are at high risk for fluid retention. The reading takes approximately 90 seconds to process.

By implementing this new protocol, Norton Healthcare providers will be able to establish a baseline fluid volume for heart failure patients that can help tailor future treatment plans.

A grant from the Norton Healthcare Foundation enabled Norton Heart & Vascular Institute to make this investment.

“For the foundation to be able to support a piece of equipment such as this is meaningful,” said Lynnie Meyer, senior vice president and chief development officer at Norton Healthcare. “This technology will improve a patient’s quality of life and has potential to reduce the amount of time they spend in the hospital.”

According to the Heart Failure Society of America, heart failure is a growing problem in the United States. Current estimates point to nearly 6.5 million Americans over age 20 with heart failure. One major study estimates there are 960,000 new heart failure cases annually.

Hospitalizations for heart failure are a huge burden on the U.S. health care system. It remains the No. 1 cause of hospitalizations among people on Medicare.

From Norton Healthcare

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