Apple Watch credited with saving another life after user suffers a ruptured ulcer

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in Apple Watch
Apple Watch continues to prove successful in not only helping users achieve health and fitness goals, but also in saving lives, the most recent being William Monzidelis, who nearly died from an erupted ulcer earlier this month.

William Monzidelis Apple Watch
Credit: NBC New York


Monzidelis, 32, was at work in early April when he started feeling dizzy and headed to the bathroom. Shortly after, he started bleeding and soon got an alert from his Apple Watch warning him that his heart rate was at an alarming level. The device recommended Monzidelis seek medical attention.

His mother, Nancy, rushed him to the hospital. On the way, Monzidelis drifted in and out of consciousness and continued to bleed from his mouth and rectum, ultimately losing 80 percent of his blood. Due to the severe blood loss, he had to receive an emergency blood transfusion before being rushed into surgery.

Doctors on the scene credited Apple Watch with saving Monzidelis' life, saying he most likely would have ignored his symptoms and not received medical treatment in time. Monzidelis, who lives in New York and works at his family's bowling alley Bowerland, generally considered himself in good health and agrees with the doctors' assessment.

"I would have been working in my office and they would have found me dead," he said.

It isn't clear if Monzidelis' symptoms were discovered by Apple's Heart Study app, another similar title or the device's built-in heart rate monitoring features.

The Apple Heart Study is available as a free download on the App Store and launched as a partnership with Stanford to research Apple Watch's ability to detect irregular heart rhythms. Alternatively, Apple provides a standard feature capable of detecting elevated heart rates, a physiological response sometimes related to life-threatening ailments.

Apple Watch has a long history of alerting users to potentially deadly health predicaments. Just yesterday, Apple Watch was credited with saving an 18-year old Florida woman who was suffering from undiagnosed kidney disease.

Beyond health tracking functions, Apple Watch also boasts communications tools that can help save lives. Last year, a woman used the device's Emergency SOS feature to contact first responders after a drunk driver hit her car.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 24
    damacguydamacguy Posts: 2member
    My Apple Watch 2 didn’t save my life, but it did convince me I really was sicker than I thought. I had recently had a minor surgery, and had an inf3ction I was unaware of. I thought I was just weak from the surgery and recovery, but when my watch started warning me of unusually high heart rates while I was simply sitting I went to an urgent care before my first post surgery checkup. Ended up in hospital for a few days (discharged the day before thanksgiving and my 47th birthday) with a bad case of SEPSIS! My post-op checkup was Suppose to be just a few days after my trip to the urgent care, so surely it would have been caught then. Moral of the story, if the watch is worried about you, get it checked out!!!
    SoliGeorgeBMacmacxpressairnerd2old4funjbdragontzm41repressthiskuduwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 24
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,174member
    In this case, I think the oral and anal bleeding were the biggest warning signs.
    [Deleted User]airnerdmike1jbdragontgr1
  • Reply 3 of 24
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,027member
    Soli said:
    In this case, I think the oral and anal bleeding were the biggest warning signs.
    I was thinking the same thing. 

    Who in their right mind would ignore a bleeding rectum?


    [Deleted User]airnerdmike1
  • Reply 4 of 24
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,174member
    Rayz2016 said:
    Soli said:
    In this case, I think the oral and anal bleeding were the biggest warning signs.
    I was thinking the same thing. 

    Who in their right mind would ignore a bleeding rectum?
    If the Apple Watch warning preceded the oral and anal bleeding then I'd say that it was the first line of defense, but at that point it's kind of like your house is on fire and neighbor says to you as your trying to put it out with a garden hose as you wait for the fire dept., "Hey, you're house is on fire." Thanks, Cletus!
    GeorgeBMac[Deleted User]airnerdmike1
  • Reply 5 of 24
    If you're sitting around and your heart is going 200bpm you don't need a watch to tell you something is really wrong!
    [Deleted User]airnerdasciijbdragon
  • Reply 6 of 24
    gregalexandergregalexander Posts: 1,381member
    I want to monitor irregular heartbeat. But I'm not in the USA.... any alternatives?
  • Reply 7 of 24
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,174member
    If you're sitting around and your heart is going 200bpm you don't need a watch to tell you something is really wrong!
    Why are people making arguments with very specific values and then saying you'll know when it's x bpm? Did you even consider issues with the heart that are affecting brain function or nerve endings that could keep you from realizing your heart is racing at an atypical rate?
    tzm41repressthislolliver
  • Reply 8 of 24
    bestkeptsecretbestkeptsecret Posts: 2,894member
    Soli said:
    In this case, I think the oral and anal bleeding were the biggest warning signs.

    I agree. This is good PR for Apple, but in this instance the guy would have gone to the doctor even without an Apple Watch.
    [Deleted User]airnerd
  • Reply 9 of 24
    JFC_PAJFC_PA Posts: 192member
    It’s like with the iPhone and it’s camera: the health monitoring instrument (or camera) you’ve got with you is the one that counts. 

    So everyday wearables have this added benefit when fitted with the right sensors and apps. 
    edited May 3 GeorgeBMacJ-J-watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 24
    It doesn’t matter how you become aware as long as you do. Even if the Apple Watch alert comes moments after you become aware something is wrong, it’s great to be getting a SECOND opinion, or an admonishment to seek immediate medical attention. How many have died ignoring early heart attact symptoms. 

    I wouldnt minimize the value of the Heart app with comments like, “Well he/she/they would/should have figured it out themselves”, that’s just stupid. 

    These reports, life saving or not, are going to drive many more sales to an aging, health conscious population. Good for them, and shame on the naysayers. 
    macplusplusGeorgeBMacairnerd2old4funtzm41JFC_PAwatto_cobratgr1
  • Reply 11 of 24
    Given the benefit of this study, Apple should look at making it available globally. It is not just USA citizens lives that could be saved. Outside of the USA we could wait years for this.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 24
    macplusplusmacplusplus Posts: 1,298member
    Given the benefit of this study, Apple should look at making it available globally. It is not just USA citizens lives that could be saved. Outside of the USA we could wait years for this.
    I want to monitor irregular heartbeat. But I'm not in the USA.... any alternatives?
    Apple Watch warnings and Apple Heart Study are not directly related. Apple Watch heart rate monitoring and warnings are available worldwide.
    edited May 3 airnerd
  • Reply 13 of 24
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 2,743member
    If you're sitting around and your heart is going 200bpm you don't need a watch to tell you something is really wrong!
    Quite often we can't tell or feel if our heart is racing.   Typically, we confuse a high heart rate with rapid or labored breathing -- as happens while running sprint.  

    Further, breathing is not regulated by a lack of oxygen but by an excess of CO2.   So this guy's breathing was most likely normal.   He might have felt something going on in his chest, but it was unlikely to feel alarming.
    charlesatlaslolliverkuduwatto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 24
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 2,743member
    Soli said:
    In this case, I think the oral and anal bleeding were the biggest warning signs.

    I agree. This is good PR for Apple, but in this instance the guy would have gone to the doctor even without an Apple Watch.
    It was his AppleWatch that got him to get up and seek help.  Otherwise, as he said, he could have just bled out in his office.   Most likely he had lost a lot of blood before it started showing up externally. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 24
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 2,743member
    I am waiting for Apple to start marketing the Apple Watch with LTE with the proverbial:  "I've fallen and I can't get up" routine.

    The watch can be put on in the morning and taken off at bedtime and then worn throughout the day regardless of activity -- even a shower.  For seniors living alone this could literally be a lifesaver:   Pressing the side button calls 911 and texts your emergency contact.

    Frankly, there is NOTHING else available that can compare...
    (Having been a home health nurse, I've seen how often the big, bulky monitors get put aside during the times that they are most going to be needed -- like taking a shower.)
    lolliverwatto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 24
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,174member
    He was bleeding out in the car on the way to the hospital, after his watch alerted him.  Nothing in the article or elsewhere indicates he was bleeding from multiple orifices prior to on concurrent to his watch alert.
    That's not how I read this sentence...
    he started bleeding and soon got an alert from his Apple Watch warning him that his heart rate was at an alarming level.
    That reads like the notification came "soon" after the bleeding, not before.
    edited May 3
  • Reply 17 of 24
    anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 18,648member
    Soli said:
    He was bleeding out in the car on the way to the hospital, after his watch alerted him.  Nothing in the article or elsewhere indicates he was bleeding from multiple orifices prior to on concurrent to his watch alert.
    That's not how I read this sentence...
    he started bleeding and soon got an alert from his Apple Watch warning him that his heart rate was at an alarming level.
    That reads like the notification came "soon" after the bleeding, not before.
    I am really not sure what the argument is about. Whether the bleeding/Watch was coincident or causal, I think we can agree that the Watch performed as it should.
    jbdragonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 24
    sirozhasirozha Posts: 345member
    Soli said:
    In this case, I think the oral and anal bleeding were the biggest warning signs.
    No way. It was the Apple Watch. The article says so. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 24
    popswapopswa Posts: 3member
    Some people will do anything to prop up Apple.
  • Reply 20 of 24
    macguimacgui Posts: 849member
    popswa said:
    Some people will do anything to prop up Apple.
    Some people will say anything to imply Apple needs to be 'propped up'.

    As GeorgeMac points out, a high heart rate is sometimes not recognized for what it is. I'm not a medical professional but in my experience few except medical professionals check their HR/pulse when they don't feel well. Athletes, professional and otherwise will probably do so. Most of the rest of us may take our temp, but not our pulse.

    'Saving his life' may be a stretch. A lot of people are reluctant to go to the doctor. Depending on the severity of the symptoms, if they abate for even a few minutes some people think they've dodged a bullet when they should have been getting to hospital. The number of people who don't go because they're afraid of getting bad news, is astounding.

    As always with news articles, there's a great chance we're not getting all the information, and what we are getting may not be entirely or at all accurate.

    The linked article said after he started bleeding , he told his mother he 'didn't feel well' and she said 'he looked like a ghost'. Based on the symptoms and notification they went to hospital. That tells me, unlike all the 'anybody should know' medical experts, they didn't realize the seriousness of the condition and drove for 30 minutes instead of calling an ambulance. During that drive he said he 'was bleeding all over the place' compared to his first earlier symptoms.

    We don't even know if he knew he had an ulcer. Many ulcers go undiagnosed until they can't be ignored.

    Would they have left sooner without the notification from the Watch? I don't know. Nor do I know if a delay from the time of the notification to the time of seizing, LOC, and profuse bleeding, wouldn't have made a difference.

    Articles like this, while possibly crediting 'saves' undeservedly, do raise awareness on many levels. Maybe when somebody says 'I don't feel well', taking someone's pulse or checking their fitness device, Apple Watch or otherwise, will be as automatic as feeling their forehead.

    So his doctors saying 'saving his life' may have been a stretch, it may not have. As always, we're free to believe or not, based on the information we do or don't have.


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