Allegheny General Hospital joins clinical trial for heart device

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Allegheny General Hospital has joined a national clinical trial to investigate the potential of an implantable device designed to provide patients with coronary artery disease an early warning of an impending heart attack.

The device is called the AngelMed Guardian System. It monitors the heart's electrical signals and alerts patients to seek medical attention if changes in those signals indicate the possibility of a negative coronary event, according to David Lasorda, director of AGH's Division of Interventional Cardiology and principal investigator in the hospital's arm of the ALERTS Pivotal US Study. If changes are detected, the Guardian system alerts patients by delivering a series of vibratory, audible and visual warnings.

The purpose of the study is to assess the safety and effectiveness of the system.

"We are very excited to play a major role in the evaluation of this promising technology," Dr. Lasorda said. "Patient outcomes following heart attack are largely dependent upon how quickly the cardiac injury is diagnosed and therapeutic efforts are initiated to restore blood flow to the heart.

"If the Guardian system proves to be effective in helping us detect the onset of a heart attack in its earliest phases, we may be able to introduce a dramatic new paradigm in the treatment of this extremely prevalent and deadly disease."

One in every five deaths in this country is attributable to coronary heart disease, according to American Heart Association estimates.

To participate in the study, patients must meet criteria. To learn more about the Guardian system or the study, call Joe Carothers at 412-359-4156 or Kenneth Rayl at 412-359-6860.


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