Three years ago, I went to the hospital to see my boss. My body slowed down on the way. I turned around after two minutes because I felt unwell. I lay on the floor until someone saw me after I crumpled to my knees on the third step. I was sleepy. Someone saw me in that hallway, which was comprised of doctor's offices.
The doctor stated that my pulse had dropped too low. The electrical signal from the right side of the heart wasn't firing as much as it could have. My first incident was not this one. Permanent action needs to be taken when the heart beats too slowly. Being 25 years younger than most patients, I was the only one who needed a pacemaker.
The FDA regulates the safety of medical devices. There are thousands of different types of devices on the market. It's safe and effective. The medical industry is large and not perfect. Even the most common surgeries come with risks.
According to the American Medical Association, 10% of Americans will have a device implanted into them. Since I would soon be one of them, I had concerns, mostly because I was familiar with stimulator devices from my former job as a neurosurgery coordinators, but even that prior knowledge didn't mean that I knew everything about what was going
When a doctor talks to us, not everything is clear. Some doctors are less personal than others. Many patients don't remember to ask important questions when they first hear what's needed for their body. Before you get a new implant, high-tech or otherwise, it's a good idea to speak with your doctor about a few things.
Clarifying your diagnosis is important.
The medical terms are precise. You probably have investigated the problem, so get the right wording. My mind raced after I saw my doctor, and I knew that I had a medical condition called atrioventricular block. I asked for the official diagnosis. It was a second degree block. The way it is treated can be affected by subtle differences. Make sure to get all visit notes from your doctor or clinic's office if you want to ask for it. A second opinion is needed if there is confusion about your diagnosis and how you will be treated.
Which kind of tech will be used?
You don't need an engineering degree to know what substances will be in your body. Gethin Williams is a doctor in El Paso. His patients are encouraged to ask lots of questions.
It's one of the first things. Do you know if this is the most recent version of the device? Is it a good idea to have scans? Is it going to hurt me. There are some devices that won't work with an magnetic resonance machine. If you don't ask specific questions about the manufacturer's guidelines, you could get shocked or burned.
What is the safest procedure you have?
Williams thinks patients should be comfortable asking their doctors about the risks and benefits of certain procedures and implants. It doesn't matter how many procedures have been done in the US or how common the device is. Even if the risks are rare, you should always ask for more information.
Do you know how many of these devices have been implanted in you? Have you had any problems? Is success rates related to it? He wants you to find the actual statistics.
Is it possible that I need additional implants?
Some people only have one health problem that requires a medical implant, but other people have many issues that could overlap. Williams says that having more than one device in your body is not uncommon, and shouldn't present a problem if those implants aren't next to one another. Make sure your doctors have your medical records.
Diabetes is one of the most common chronic health issues in the US. The diseases affect everyone. Younger people are more likely to develop Diabetes than ever before. According to the National Institute of Health, 11 percent of the population is diagnosed with diabetes, but that doesn't include thousands who are unaware they have it. A small, digital device that continuously delivers rapid-actinginsulin through a small catheter and is secured in place on the skin with glue will eventually be required by many of those patients. As those pumps become more common, they add to the complexity of potentially having multiple implants in the general population.
What if I don't want technology in my life?
Most doctors say you don't have to try anything. They stress the convenience and efficiency of what is already on the market.
Annie DiGuglielmo is an engineer. She talked about how she chose a treatment that worked best for her patients.
She thinks it's important to consider each person's daily lifestyle. Is it possible that they would like to be active? How many times a day will they check their monitor? The management of that device or how they want to monitor their own body is what matters.