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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – What if you could get a warning that you were about to have a heart attack and you could get to the hospital to prevent it from striking?
A trial is underway to make that device available in the U.S. The new pacemaker-like device will vibrate and an alarm, worn like a pager, will go off if you are about to have a heart attack.
“They’re able to read signals before patient develops symptoms,” said cardiologist Dr. Juan Carlo Londono.
Dr. Londono is the principal investigator of the “angel med guardian.”
Humberto Alvarez uses the device and showed CBS4 that it’s placed on his chest and is covered by a scar. Alvarez is one of the patients in the trial.
“With the device I feel comfort and have peace of mind,” Alvarez said.
You could compare the device to a seismometer in the earth’s surface that detects an earthquake. The device can detect tremors in your heart before the heart attack even happens. When the device goes off it signals if it is an emergency or if you just need to see your doctor.
“When they come in earlier and get treated rapidly we save lives,” Dr. London said.
Alvarez had the device surgically implanted two months ago just six months after he had a heart attack and thought he was going to die. If the device ever goes off, he’ll know what to do and hopefully never have to endure the trauma of a heart attack again.
“This is my angel,” Humberto said.
The device is approved in South America and Europe, but is seeking approval in the U.S. There are 350 people in the countrywide trial so far; 600 more people are needed.
The researchers are looking for people that in the past six months had a heart attack or severe chest pain.
To take part in the trial either call angel med at 305-858-4300 or go to http://www.angel-med.com.