Recent Advancements in Pacing Technology Have Expanded the Number of Patients Eligible for Leadless Pacemakers to Nearly Half of All Pacemaker Candidates in the U.S.
Mended Hearts, Inc. announced the launch of a new educational initiative, in collaboration with Medtronic plc, designed to educate patients with heart conditions about new pacing options, known as leadless pacemakers. Pace of Mind (PaceOfMind.org) shares the personal stories of adults living with leadless pacemakers and includes resources to help educate patients about their potential pacing options.
"Many pacemaker candidates may not be aware of leadless pacing, or even realize they have different treatment options," said Andrea Baer, Executive Director, Mended Hearts. "By providing patients and caregivers with educational resources and information about the latest innovations in heart health, like leadless pacing, we hope to empower them with the knowledge they need to have a more informed conversation with their doctor and work together to manage their heart conditions."
PaceOfMind.org offers a number of educational resources for patients diagnosed with a heart condition or who have learned they are in need of a pacemaker, what to expect before, during, and after the procedure, and how to discuss their pacing options with their doctor, including more information on the risks and benefits of leadless pacemakers. In addition, visitors can view firsthand stories of patients whose lives have been positively impacted by a leadless device and find a physician in their area with experience in leadless pacing therapy.
Less than a tenth the size of traditional pacemakers – comparable in size to a large vitamin – leadless pacemakers are implanted directly in the heart through a minimally invasive procedure, making them cosmetically invisible after implantation, leaving no chest scar or visible bump for the patient. Despite their advantages, patients with heart conditions may have limited awareness of leadless pacemakers.
Leadless pacemakers are most commonly used to treat an irregular heartbeat, such as bradycardia, a condition in which the heart beats too slowly, or atrioventricular (AV) block, an irregular heart rhythm in which the electrical signals between the chambers of the heart (the atria and the ventricles) are impaired. Previously, approximately only 15 percent of patients qualified for a leadless device. Recent advancements in pacing technology have expanded the number of eligible patients to nearly half of all pacemaker candidates in the U.S.
"Numerous clinical studies have shown the benefits of leadless pacemakers, including a significant reduction in device complications," said Rob Kowal, MD, PhD, chief medical officer of the Cardiac Rhythm and Heart Failure and the Cardiac Ablation Solutions divisions, which are part of the Cardiac and Vascular Group at Medtronic. "We are excited to partner with Mended Hearts to help educate patients about their pacing options."
Leadless pacemakers are not an option for all pacemaker patients. Patients who have learned they need a pacemaker should to talk to their doctor to determine if a leadless option may be right for them. For more resources, including a doctor discussion guide, visit PaceOfMind.org.
About Mended Hearts
Mended Hearts is the largest cardiovascular disease peer support organization in the world. Since 1951, Mended Hearts has inspired hope and provided support to millions of heart patients and families. Recognized for its role in facilitating a positive patient-care experience, Mended Hearts partners with hospitals and cardiac rehab clinics to offer support through visiting programs, group meetings and educational forums. Trained accredited visitors conduct more than 200,000 visits to patients in the hospital and in recovery each year. Mended Hearts improves quality of life for heart patients and their families through ongoing peer-to-peer support, education and advocacy. For more information or to locate a chapter, visit www.mendedhearts.org, call 1-888-HEART99 or email at email@example.com.