HOT SPRINGS (MARCH 10, 2014) Mercy Hospital Hot Springs is the first in Arkansas to implant the Medtronic Reveal LINQ Insertable Cardiac Monitor (ICM) system in a patient, the smallest implantable cardiac monitoring device available.
The Reveal LINQ ICM is approximately one-third the size of a AAA battery, making it more than 80 percent smaller than other ICMs. While significantly smaller, the device is part of a powerful system that allows physicians to continuously and wirelessly monitor a patient’s heart for up to three years, with 20 percent more data memory than its larger predecessor.
The state’s first procedure was performed by Mercy Hot Springs Cardiologist Dr. Fred Heinemann on Friday, March 7 in the Mercy Heart and Vascular Center.
“I was very pleased to get to implant the first Medtronic LINQ recorder today. We’ve been waiting for these for some time. I’ve implanted the older versions for a number of years and found them incredibly useful devices,” Heinemann said. “As regulations require us to document more accurately why people need certain implantable devices, these little electronic recorders are going to become more and more utilized. They’re really the only way you can accurately document intermittent arrhythmias.”
The device is indicated for patients who experience symptoms such as dizziness, palpitation, fainting and chest pain that may suggest a cardiac arrhythmia, and for patients at increased risk for cardiac arrhythmias. In this case, patient Sabrina Dickerson of Glenwood had been experiencing blackouts and unable to drive as a result.
“The first time I blacked out I was in a meeting and fell and hit my head. Another time I was just sitting on the couch hugging my nieces and blacked out again. I’ve done it several other times,” said Dickerson, who works for United Cerebral Palsy and individuals with disabilities. “I wore [an external] heart monitor on the side, two different ones for a month at a time, and they never showed anything.”
Unlike the bulky external monitors, which can be difficult to sleep while wearing, the Reveal LINQ ICM is placed just beneath the skin through a small incision of less than 1 cm in the upper left side of the chest. It is nearly invisible to the naked eye once inserted through the minimally invasive procedure.
“Our patient today was an ideal candidate that exhibited the usual symptoms of blacking out and falling. I think she’ll now have a good monitor for some three years down the road. Hopefully we’ll find what has been causing her problem.”
The device is also MR-Conditional, which allows patients to undergo magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) if needed.
Dickerson will also have a MyCareLink Patient Monitor at home, a simplified remote monitoring system with global cellular technology that transmits patients’ cardiac device diagnostic data to their clinicians from nearly any location in the world. It will download data as scheduled by doctor’s orders.
“It is scary. I can’t drive until they figure out what’s going on and I don’t like to ask people to take me places,” Dickerson said. “I hope it shows something so I can get something done.”
For more than 125 years, Mercy in Hot Springs has served the health care needs of Hot Springs and surrounding communities. Mercy Hospital Hot Springs is a 282 bed acute-care hospital, providing an emergency department with a Level 2 Trauma Center designation, a 90-physician clinic organization and a comprehensive range of medical services.
Mercy Hospital Hot Springs was the first in Arkansas to open a coronary care unit (196), a cardiac catheterization lab (1975), perform an open heart surgery (1985), implant coronary stents (1990) and provide comprehensive heart and vascular services all in one location.