Fitbit saves teenager's life by detecting serious heart condition
Fitbit are dealing with a significant amount of bad press right now — they are facing a class action lawsuit on the grounds that they don't monitor heart rates accurately — but some good publicity has come in the form of 18-year-old Sarah-Jayne McIntosh, who claims she owes her life to her new Fitbit Surge.
According to the Southport Visiter, the teenager was revising for her exams at her university halls of residence when the tracker revealed that her resting heart rate had increased from 84 bpm to 210 bpm.
The Edge Hill student phoned NHS 111 and was rushed into hospital, where tests revealed she had an undetected heart condition involving a "misfiring chamber."
Medics said if the Southport teen hadn't called for help she could have died.
"The doctors said that if I hadn't phoned for an ambulance when I did and if I wasn't wearing my Fitbit to track my heart rate, I could have suffered a heart attack/cardiac arrest and could have died," said Sarah-Jayne. "As soon as I got to hospital, they hooked me on all these machines and did some blood tests and they have found an issue with my heart. Apparently one pathway from one chamber to the heart from the other was misfiring and instead of the chambers beating one after another like it normally should, they were beating at the exact same time, which was causing my heart rate to increase. (sic)"
"The doctor said I had two heartbeats," she continued. "I had a resting rate of 190 bpm and they couldn't get it to lower. They used shock to try and reset it but in the end, they had to use this medication, which reacts within 10 seconds to force the heart to slow down along with the rest of my body (sic). For the first time that day I could get a full breath and I felt a lot better. My heart rate convulsed and started to gradually reduce. Doctors were very concerned about me as a healthy, active 18 year-old girl who doesn't drink, smoke or take any drugs and exercises regularly. I should not have had a heart rate as high as 210 bpm. They said my body was running a marathon without me using my legs."
Sarah-Jayne is now urging everyone to invest in a heart rate monitor as "you can’t put a price on life."