Remote Monitoring Saves AFib Patient

heart patient mary with her dog coco In May 2015, Mary Neff, 72, knew something was off and wasn’t feeling well. When she began to experience heaviness in her chest, she paid a visit to Interventional cardiologist Subhi Sbahi, M.D. She was diagnosed with atrial fibrillation and Dr. Sbahi decided to put her on medication to treat it, as well as a heart monitor that she would wear for 21 days.

A few weeks passed, and Mary was preparing to walk her dog, Coco Chanel, when she began to feel light headed. She thought a glass of water would help, but after she had a drink she lowered herself to the floor from feeling so weak and heard her cell phone ring. She couldn’t reach it, nor could she reach her home phone, which also began to ring. That’s when everything went black.

When Mary woke up she was in the hospital and completely unaware of what happened. The heart monitoring company received a signal that showed signs of distress from Mary’s heart, and when they couldn’t get a hold of her, they contacted Dr. Sbahi. Dr. Sbahi ultimately called EMS when he realized that she needed immediate help. He was able to retrieve Mary’s home address to give to EMS through her electronic medical records.

“It’s a great example of the value of electronic medical records and the importance of keeping your contact information up-to-date,” said Dr. Sbahi.

The Clinton Township Fire Department gained access to Mary’s home and transported her to Henry Ford Macomb Hospital. Dr. Sbahi and the ER team corrected her heart rhythm and got her blood pressure back up through the use of a defibrillator.

After a short stay in the hospital where Mary had an ablation to correct a heart flutter, she returned home, feeling well, and resumed her morning walks with Coco. She appreciated the paramedics and the ER nurse who were able to help notify her family and even contacted a friend to take care of her dog while she was in the hospital. Mary believes that the concern of Dr. Sbahi and his actions that morning are what ultimately saved her life.

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