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Forrest’s Story

Fainting (Unexplained)

Forrest worked as a paramedic for 18 years. One day while he and his partner transported a patient to the hospital, Forrest fainted behind the wheel of the ambulance. The ambulance went off the highway and into a grassy field.

At the hospital, Forrest had a number of tests that showed no health issues. He was referred to a cardiologist who suspected there might be a relationship between the fainting episode and his heart activity. He wanted to record Forrest’s heart rate and rhythm, but Forrest did not want a Holter monitor because he was afraid the sticky pads and wires would interfere with his ability to work. The doctor recommended a Medtronic Reveal® Insertable Cardiac Monitor (ICM).

The Reveal ICM is a small device – about the size of a pack of gum – that can monitor abnormal heart rhythms for up to three years without patches or wires. The monitor is inserted under the skin during an outpatient procedure. It records the heart’s activity automatically or by pressing a button on the Patient Assistant. Results can be sent directly to your doctor’s office or reviewed during an in-office visit.

Forrest was not concerned about the procedure to have the Reveal ICM placed and he was not worried about the size of the device. Instead, he was eager to get the Reveal ICM so his doctor could determine why he was fainting. Forrest did not experience any complications from the implant procedure. However, all surgical procedures carry some risk.

Forrest had the Reveal ICM for 30 days. When his cardiologist analysed the data collected by the monitor, he found that one evening while Forrest slept there were over 400 episodes of his heart rate dipping down to 30 beats per minute. Based on this information, Forrest was given a pacemaker to regulate his heart rate.

Forrest has not had another fainting episode. He’s back taking care of patients and driving the ambulance with confidence.

This story reflects one person's experience. Not every person will receive the same results. Talk to your doctor about your treatment options.

Information on this site should not be used as a substitute for talking with your doctor. Always talk with your doctor about diagnosis and treatment information.