Best Life: Barostim heals heart failure

Best Life: New device to aid in heart failure

ORLANDO, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) -- The FDA has just given approval to a first-of-its-kind device for patients with heart failure. The Barostim Neo is designed to use the power of the nervous system to help control blood pressure, and it’s making a world of difference for some patients.

Eric Berkowitz likes to end his workday by taking Bobo for a walk. It’s something he couldn’t do just a few months ago.

“He sat right here in that recliner and never came out of it. He slept in this chair. He could not go up the stairs,” Deborah Berkowitz, Eric’s wife said.

Eleven years ago, at age 42, Berkowitz had a heart attack. Then another. Doctors tried stents, a double bypass, and a pacemaker to keep his heart healthy, but he still struggled with heart failure.

Nirav Raval, MD, Thoracic Medical Director at Advent Health Transplant Institute, told Ivanhoe, “Heart failure means the heart’s not really pumping enough blood to supply the needs of the body.”

Doctor Raval studied the effectiveness of the Barostim Neo. It’s implanted just under the skin, and a lead wire delivers pulses to the carotid artery in the neck.

“It kinda just lies over the top stimulating this group of cells called baroreceptors and those change the fight or flight response basically bring balance to it,” Raval said.

And two years ago, doctors implanted a Barostim opposite Berkowitz’s pacemaker. It helps adjust his blood pressure. Berkowitz said even though he feels better than ever Bobo senses he’s been sick and won’t leave his side.

“Since I have the device, I can walk a two-mile track with him and not be panting. He pants more than I do,” Eric Berkowitz said.

New technology and Bobo putting Berkowitz on the path to better health.

The FDA approved Barostim in August, after the conclusion of a phase three clinical trial. The Barostim is for use in patients older than 21 who have advancing symptoms and are not responding to heart failure medication.

Contributors to this news report include: Cyndy McGrath, Executive Producer; Roque Correa, Videographer and Editor.

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