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News Release

Media Contact: Tom Grant

Published on December 14, 2004

Press Release

Breakthrough Device Procedure Helps Prevent Heart Failure Hospitalizations

Washington Adventist Hospital is First in Region to Perform Implantation Of Newly Approved Thoracic Fluid Status Monitor

Takoma Park, MD - Washington Adventist Hospital today announced the successful implantation of a revolutionary new device to monitor fluid status in patients with heart failure. The device, a cardiac resynchronization therapy defibrillator system, enables doctors to monitor fluid status in the thoracic cavity, the chest area encompassing the lungs and heart. Cardiac Electrophysiologist Dr. Sung W. Lee implanted the device in a 43-year old man on December 13, 2004. The procedure took place at the Cardiovascular Institute (CVI) of Washington Adventist Hospital.

The National Heart, Blood and Lung Institute reports that 550,000 people nationwide are newly diagnosed with heart failure each year. The condition affects 5 million Americans and causes or contributes to 300,000 deaths each year. . Common signs and symptom of heart failure include shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, feeling tired, and swelling in the ankles, feet, legs, and sometimes the abdomen.

Most heart failure hospital admissions are due to fluid accumulation in the thoracic cavity. This fluid buildup often goes undetected until a patient is critically ill, when many such patients require hospitalization or urgent treatment at an emergency room for severe respiratory distress. The use of the new device will enable physicians to monitor thoracic fluid accumulation electronically, and is expected to be an important new tool in managing heart failure and preventing hospitalizations due to thoracic fluid build-up.

"The availability of this procedure and device at Washington Adventist Hospital will further improve care for heart failure patients. Without medical monitoring, patients often don't realize they have heart failure until they are in critical condition. With this new technology, doctors can now keep an eye on patients' conditions and make treatment adjustments when fluid buildup occurs, thus helping to prevent hospitalization. This advanced therapy will help to improve the quality of life for our patients," said Dr. Lee.

"In addition to providing therapy to strengthen and synchronize the heartbeat, the implantation of this device protects patients from life threatening abnormal heart rhythms," according to Dr. James Cocrell, Director of Cardiac Electrophysiology at Washington Adventist Hospital. "We are hopeful that this technology has great potential to improve the treatment of our patients with heart failure." The device, called the InSync Sentry system, was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in November 2004. The implantation procedure takes 60 to 90 minutes, and most patients are able to return home the next day.

Washington Adventist Hospital, a 318 bed hospital located in Takoma Park, Maryland, is a regional center for cardiology diagnosis, intervention, rehabilitation and prevention. Nearly 8,000 heart procedures, including open-heart surgery, heart catheterizations, angioplasties and electrophysiologic studies take place at Washington Adventist Hospital each year. In addition to cardiology and cardiac surgery, Washington Adventist Hospital offers radiation oncology, maternal/child services, emergency medical care, mental health, neurology and prevention-oriented health programs for the community. The hospital, which employs approximately 1,700 health care professionals, is part of Adventist HealthCare.

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