Joseph

84: Just a Number

Joseph Zjawin

Joseph Zjawin, 84, of Newark, NJ, exclaimed he felt like “a new man” now more confident in managing his Heart Failure following the placement of the CardioMEMS heart failure (HF) System at Clara Maass Medical Center (CMMC) in Belleville, an RWJBarnabas Health facility.

In late May 2015, Joseph was the first patient to receive the device at an Essex County facility, making CMMC the first hospital in the county to implant the only FDA-approved Heart Failure monitoring device proven to significantly reduce hospital admissions.

This new system allows patients to transmit daily sensor readings from their homes to physician offices, allowing for personalized and proactive heart failure management to reduce the likelihood of hospitalization.

According to Elie Y. Chakhtoura, MD, FACC, FSCAI, Director of the Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory, CMMC, who performed the procedure, the CardioMEMS HF System features a sensor that is implanted in the Pulmonary Artery (PA) on the right side of the heart through a catheter in a patient’s groin. “The entire procedure takes less than an hour,” he adds.

“Once the sensor is implanted, it immediately begins to monitor PA pressures, which often increase in Heart Failure patients before the more common external indicators of weight and blood pressure changes appear,” explains Joseph’s cardiologist, Donald G. Rubenstein, MD, New Jersey Cardiology Associates, Barnabas Health Medical Group. “This alerts us to crucial pressure changes up to 21 days prior to other symptoms appearing, allowing for earlier intervention to prevent worsening Heart Failure.”

To transmit data to Dr. Rubenstein’s office, Joseph simply positions himself on a special pillow provided by CardioMEMS and follows verbal instructions given by the electronic system. The process takes less than one minute each day. “It’s easy to operate and works beautifully,” describes Joseph.

When asked about the procedure Joseph says, “I was back home within a few hours and had no restrictions. Technology is awesome!”

  • A Letter From Dr. Elie Y. Chakhtoura

  • As the first patient to have a new type of Heart Failure monitor implanted at Clara Maass Medical Center, Joseph Zjawin, 84, of Newark said he feels like “a new man”.

    There is no better feeling than knowing I was able to help Joseph manage his cardiac issues with confidence through this procedure. In late May, he became the first patient to receive the FDA-approved CardioMEMS Heart Failure monitor at an Essex County facility.

    About the size of a dime, this Heart Failure monitor is proven to significantly reduce hospital admissions. And, I am proud to say that Clara Maass is the first hospital in the county to provide it.

    The CardioMEMS system features a sensor that is implanted in the pulmonary artery during a procedure that takes less than an hour. Once the sensor is implanted, it allows the patient to transmit daily readings from their home to physician offices. To transmit data to his cardiologist, patients like Joseph simply position themselves on a special pillow and follow verbal instructions given by the electronic system. The process takes less than one minute each day and allows for earlier intervention to prevent worsening Heart Failure.

    Elie Y. Chakhtoura, MD, FACC, FSCAI
    Director of the Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory
    Clara Maass Medical Center

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