Woman's life is saved by a different kind of LifeVest

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by JANET ST. JAMES

WFAA

Posted on January 11, 2012 at 7:48 PM

Updated Thursday, Jan 12 at 4:28 AM

McKINNEY - "Do you remember the one shock?" asked Jim Hyland of his wife, as she rested in a McKinney hospital bed. "Not really, huh?"

Cay Hyland doesn't remember anything about Christmas Eve, but her husband will never forget it.

"She went into cardiac arrest," Jim said. "Her monitor went off. And it's a very, very loud siren when it goes off. And it said if she didn't respond, it was going to shock her."

She was shocked back to life - six times - by an automated external defibrillator (AED). She was wearing the device on a special vest under her clothes.

"The reason we have this is, the implantable defibrillator is not always available or not always recommended for all types of patients," explained Dr. Dale Yoo, a cardiac electro physiologist at iMedical Center of McKinney.

Dr. Yoo prescribed the LifeVest to Cay because kidney problems make her ineligible for an implanted AED or pacemaker.

Before this technology, patients who couldn't have an implanted AED often died when their heart's rhythm went haywire.

LifeVest was FDA approved 10 years ago. Still, many cardiologists don't know about it, though it is gaining more attention and acceptance among heart specialists.

This week, it saved the life of a veteran at the Dallas VA hospital.

"It will save your life," Dr. Yoo said.

Without it, Jim Hyland is certain his wife wouldn't have been alive to ring in the New Year.

E-mail jstjames@wfaa.com

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