Imagine your heart stopping for five, ten, even thirty seconds and not knowing it.
For one Colorado woman, a rare heart condition would cause her to pass out and her heart would stop beating.
Recently, 27-year-old Jocelyn Baysinger learned her heart was stopping every time she passed out, which happened about once or twice a year. It was the result of a heart condition called Neurocardiogenic syncope.
Last year, she fainted at Denver Health where she works as an oncology tech. Doctors there ran an EKG on her heart and placed her on a monitoring device to detect her heart activity.
A few months later, In December, Baysinger passed out once again. The monitoring device showed her heart stopped beating for 30 seconds. Doctors at Denver Health referred her to cardiac electrophysiologist Dr. Matthew Zipse at University of Colorado Hospital.
“When I learned I had to get a pacemaker, I was really upset about it,” said Baysinger, “but I knew I wanted to get better. I can’t be passing out at work, or anywhere else…it’s scary.”
Dr. Zipse went over a few options with Baysinger including the very latest advancement in heart technology: a leadless, cordless pacemaker that is one-tenth the size of an original pacemaker, about the size of a vitamin.
The Medtronic Micra Transcatheter Pacing System is dubbed the world’s smallest pacemaker. It was just approved by the FDA in April.
“For some of our cardiac patients, like Jocelyn, the device is a great option and offers a less-invasive approach,” said Dr. Zimse, “And I think Jocelyn really liked the cosmetic side to it— She wouldn't have a scar, she wouldn't have a pocket like the ones left behind from the traditional larger pacemakers— she wouldn’t have any restriction in range of motion.”
For Baysinger, the new device was the right option for her.
“It’s cool that it’s so new— and I’m glad it will help my heart so that I can live my life and not have to worry.”
On Friday, December 27th, Baysinger became the first patient in Colorado to receive the tiny pacemaker. It was successfully implanted at UC-Health.
“I feel relieved and have peace of mind” said Baysinger, “I hope that it will help others as well.”