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2 Get Life-Saving Surgery After Tip From Apple Watch

Device alerted UK men to irregular heartbeats
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 17, 2019 7:33 AM CDT
The Apple Watch 4 is displayed at the Steve Jobs Theater in Cupertino, Calif., on Sept. 12, 2018.   (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)

(Newser) – Two UK men have received life-saving surgery after their Apple Watches alerted them to irregular heartbeats. Paul Hutton of Bradfield, Essex, first visited a doctor after his Apple Watch—updated in September to notify users of irregular heart rates—alerted him that his rate kept dropping below 40 beats per minute, well below the normal resting rate of 60 to 100bpm. He was diagnosed with an irregular heartbeat, then ventricular bigeminy, a condition in which the heart is unable to pump blood out effectively. During a three-hour surgery, doctors used radio waves to burn away faulty heart tissue. Now "I keep checking my pulse on my Apple Watch and it all seems good," Hutton tells the Telegraph. He notes his heart "even coped" as he watched England win its first Cricket World Cup in a dramatic Saturday match decided by a boundary count.

As a nurse tells the Telegraph that wearable devices could "revolutionize" how heart conditions are diagnosed, the Manchester Evening News reports on the case of 22-year-old Jorge Cox, who underwent a five-hour open heart surgery in May after his Apple Watch recorded resting heart rates of over 130bpm. The Manchester man mentioned the readings "in passing" ahead of a tonsillectomy in November and was soon diagnosed with aortic regurgitation, a leaky aortic valve that causes blood pumped out of the heart's main chamber to flow back in. At risk of sudden heart failure, Cox was told he could've "dropped down dead" at any moment, per the Evening News. Likely a birth defect, the valve was replaced during a surgery that required the breaking of Cox's sternum. "Thank goodness I got an Apple watch,” he says. "I'd be a walking death trap if I hadn't." (Read more Apple Watch stories.)

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