Heart Attack Alert

November 9, 2012 Updated Nov 9, 2012 at 12:39 AM EDT

By WKBW News

November 9, 2012 Updated Nov 9, 2012 at 12:39 AM EDT

Once you have survived a heart attack, the biggest fear is will it happen again? Will I get help in time?

Now, there's a cutting edge device that can help. It's a heart alert that is being tested right here with doctors at Mercy Hospital. They're calling it a lifesaver. Eyewitness News Anchor Joanna Pasceri has the story.

Deborah Thomas of Cheektowaga had no idea what was happening to her last December when she walked into work not feeling well.

The then-43-year-old went to the hospital and found out she had a heart attack. One artery was 70-percent blocked. Doctors put in a stent and three months later, an AngelMed Guardian, a cardiac monitor and alert system. It's implanted under the skin and vibrates when it detects an impending heart attack, often before there are symptoms.

Dr. Irfan Khan of the Buffalo Heart Group is conducting a clinical trial on the heart device. It's approved for use in other countries, but not yet here in the U.S.

Dr. Khan has implanted the heart attack alert device in 15 patients locally and has seen promising results.
Not only does it get patients to the hospital faster, it's peace of mind.

Dr. Khan says, "We have an opportunity to reach a whole new group of patients who live in fear. They have a device watchdog to let them know when to get help. It's going to be exciting."