Your Health: A new treatment for heart failure

Your Health: A new treatment for heart failure
Published: Aug. 4, 2022 at 5:28 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Almost six million Americans are living with heart failure, a condition where the heart can’t pump blood well enough to meet the body’s needs.

People with heart failure can feel weak, have trouble breathing and can have swollen legs and feet.

For the first time in the United States, researchers at Ohio State have successfully used an experimental device designed to treat patients with heart failure.

Robert Dye, 66, can’t wait to take his boat out of storage. This is the first time in more than a year that he’s had the energy.

“I could not walk any distance,” Dye said. “I couldn’t even walk from the bed to my recliner without being short-winded.”

One day last fall, Dye couldn’t breathe. He was gray and his limbs were ice cold. Doctors told his wife he was “more dead than alive.”

“That was horrible because he’s mine and I didn’t want anything to happen,” she recalled.

Dye had worsening heart failure. Doctors thought he would be a good candidate for an experimental cardiac pulmonary nerve stimulation system, or CPNS.

“The device is actually a series of electrodes that deliver electrical stimulus directly to the nerves,” said Dr. Sitaramesh Emani.

The electrodes sat in a wire basket. Doctors inserted it through a catheter into a vein in Dye’s neck until it reached the artery just behind the heart. The controller was attached to the outside of his neck. For four days, Dye’s doctors delivered stimulation to the nerves on the back of the heart, then removed the device.

“We think the heart is beating stronger and better when this therapy is turned on,” Emani said.

Dye said he felt much better immediately.

“I walked a mile on the hospital floor,” he exclaims.

While Dye was the first in the U.S. to use the CPNS stimulation system, it is also being tested in Europe and South America.

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