Every 33 seconds someone in the U.S. dies from cardiovascular disease. But there is hope in a new device being tested currently in Arizona.
Health leaders said the device will drastically drop the scary statistic.
"It was a Friday afternoon," said Joe Coia. "I came in the house and I was hot. The moment I sat down, my heart felt like it was beating out of my chest."
Coia, 60, was having a heart attack.
Near death, his wife rushed him to the hospital.
"The drive down there gave me a second heart attack because she was driving so fast," Coia said.
Doctors, fortunately, were able to save his life.
"It was kind of surreal. It was like watching ER on TV. This team of people just jumped on me. You can see the bump," he said, motioning to the lump in his skin that sits near his heart.
Now Coia is part of a clinical trial. Implanted in his chest is a defibrillator that almost predicts the future.
"We insert it under the skin," said Dr. Andrew Kaplan with Banner Heart Hospital.
Kaplan is helping run the study.
"I'm extremely excited. This is revolutionary technology," Kaplan said.
The excitement revolves around the fact that the new defibrillator can sense when a person's about to have a heart attack, sometimes hours before they would even feel any symptoms.
"This device also has a vibratory alarm build in it. It will actually vibrate in the chest. So when the patient is having a problem with blood flow, they feel the vibration and they automatically know that is a sign to go to the hospital," Kaplan said.
It's wireless and can communicate with a receiver at home. It means that, when a person is being rushed to the hospital, doctors will be ready for their arrival.
The goal is to give doctors more time to fix whatever's wrong with a patient's heart.
"It can catch that problem prior to you really feeling any symptoms of an episode coming on," Kaplan said.
It gives patients like Coia a peace of mind.
"It's like having a team of doctors walking around with you all the time," he said.
Banner Heart Hospital said the trial has been extremely successful. Right now the device is only being used in patients who have had heart attacks, but the plan is to offer it to those who may be at risk for heart disease.
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