Beat heart failure with barostim

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When medication stops working for people with congestive heart failure there are few options.

When medication stops working for people with congestive heart failure there are few options.

A few months ago, Joe Knox couldn't take a simple walk due to his congestive heart failure.

"I couldn't walk from the door of my house to the car without being out of breath," said patient Joseph Knox.

And Joe isn't alone. Doctors say many heart failure patients stop responding to medication that helps the heart circulate blood.

"The analogy is when the car can't drive up the hill, the engine has some damage and it's the same thing with the heart," Director of Heart Services Joshua Larned.

Joe is taking part in a clinical trial.

"This clinical trial investigates the use of a device called a barostim stimulation device which the design of it is to help the heart simply relax," said Dr. Larned.

The barostim is implanted much like a pacemaker but it sits on top of the carotid artery.

"It actually tells the heart to relax by lowering what's called the sympathetic activity to the heart," Dr. Larned.

So the heart doesn't have to work as hard. Every two weeks, Joe has the device adjusted.

"As the intensity goes up, the benefits go up," said Knox.

Dr. Larned says so far, the technology is proving to be safe and well tolerated. Joe says now he can enjoy walking the dog with his husband.

"I'm able to drive myself, go grocery shopping myself, and push the cart around. Definitely a lifesaver," said Knox.

Giving people living with heart failure a chance at a more active life.
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