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Bridgeport Hospital first in county to implant new wireless cardiac monitor

Friday, April 4, 2014

Bridgeport Hospital is the first hospital in Fairfield County to implant the Medtronic Reveal LINQ insertable cardiac monitor (ICM) system in a patient. The Reveal LINQ is the smallest implantable cardiac monitoring device available. The first procedure was done April 3 by an electrophysiology team in the hospital’s Joel E. Smilow Heart Institute led by cardiac electrophysiologist Murali Chiravuri, MD. The patient was a 75-year-old Stratford man who experienced syncope (fainting spells) caused by an irregular heartbeat.

The patient was 75-year-old Ronald Weir of Stratford, who is being monitored for an irregular heartbeat.

“It took only four minutes,” said Weir, who was awake during the procedure. “Dr. Chiravuri and his team were great.”

The Reveal LINQ by Medtronic is the world’s smallest implantable, wireless cardiac monitor.

The Reveal LINQ is approximately one-third the size of an AAA battery (about one cubic centimeter), making it more than 80 percent smaller than other ICMs. The device is part of a powerful system that allows physicians to continuously and wirelessly monitor a patient’s heart for up to three years, with 20 percent more data memory than its larger predecessor, the Reveal XT.

“This allows doctors to detect abnormal heart rhythm patterns that may only occur every year or two,” according to Craig McPherson, MD, director of Cardiac Electrophysiology at Bridgeport Hospital. “In the past, some patients might suffer periodic arrhythmia symptoms for a decade or more before their problem was diagnosed. This new technology holds the promise of revolutionizing the care of such individuals.”

“The Reveal LINQ system is a quantum step forward in cardiac monitoring,” says Dr. Chiravuri. “Compared to traditional external monitors with wires, it’s much less cumbersome and more comfortable for the patient. And it takes just minutes to implant.”

In addition to its continuous and wireless monitoring capabilities, the system provides remote monitoring, which allows physicians to request alerts if their patients have had cardiac events. The Reveal LINQ is suitable for patients who experience symptoms such as dizziness, palpitation, fainting and chest pain that may suggest a cardiac arrhythmia, and for patients at increased risk for cardiac arrhythmias.

Placed just beneath the skin through a small incision of less than one centimeter in the upper left side of the chest, the Reveal LINQ is nearly invisible to the naked eye once inserted. The device is placed using a minimally invasive insertion procedure, which simplifies the experience for both physicians and their patients. The Reveal LINQ is MR-conditional, allowing patients to undergo magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) if needed.

The Reveal LINQ system also includes a simplified remote monitoring system with global cellular technology that transmits patients’ cardiac device diagnostic data to their clinicians from nearly any location in the world.

Part of Yale New Haven Health System, Bridgeport Hospital is a 383-bed acute care hospital (plus 42 beds licensed to Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital) serving parts of Fairfield and New Haven counties, including Connecticut’s most populous city. The hospital admits more than 18,000 patients and receives more than 240,000 outpatient visits annually.