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When a heart beats blue

We normally think of red when talking about hearts. For Dr. D.V. Patel, a cardiologist at NEA Baptist, and his patient Matthew Rollins, the color blue now takes precedence.

This year, Dr. Patel used the first Bluetooth® enabled pacemaker at NEA Baptist to help regulate Matthew’s heart. The Azure Pacemaker by Medtronic is one of the newest pieces of technology used in heart care to help control abnormal heart rhythms, or arrhythmias.

Matthew Rollins is a 68-year-old retiree who is active in church and enjoys being a great grandpa. Matthew has been a patient of Dr. Patel’s for more than 13 years and in 2007, he experienced a heart event that was treated with stents. Following that procedure, Matthew quit smoking and became very active.

During a routine appointment, Dr. Patel discovered Matthew had heart arrhythmia. Dr. Patel had recently been educated on the new pacemaker technology and proposed that he use the pacemaker for Matthew. When asked how he felt being the first patient at NEA Baptist and one of the first in the state of Arkansas to receive the new pacemaker, Matthew responded, “I was really excited! I thought it was great when I learned that the doctor can know, before I can even physically tell, that something is going on. I told him, ‘Let’s go for it!’”

Dr. Patel added, “I am always looking for and learning about the new technology that could benefit our patients. I want to provide them the best heart care and treatments possible. Staying up-to-date on all that is available is one way that I can do that.”

At the end of January, Matthew came in for the procedure, which went well. He was back for a follow-up appointment the next week and was very impressed by his entire experience. He stated, “This has been a great experience! The whole team here has been great, and I appreciate Dr. Patel. I feel like a bionic man.”