Apple Watch helps save the life of teen athlete in Oklahoma

Posted:
in General Discussion edited February 2020
Another life was saved with the assistance of an Apple Watch -- this time a teen athlete in Oklahoma was alerted to an unusually high heart rate while in class.

Apple Watch notifies users of any detected abnormal heart activity
Apple Watch notifies users of any detected abnormal heart activity


The middle school student received an alert on his two week old Apple Watch stating he had a high heart rate of 190bpm, despite being seated in class. He immediately texted a screenshot of the alert to his mother.

"I got a text message along with a screenshot of his heart rate that was 190," the teen's mother said. "The following message saying, mommy, there's something wrong. I'm not doing anything."

There had been no known issues with the teen's heart prior to this event. He was ultimately diagnosed with Supraventricular Tachycardia, or SVT.

Without the Apple Watch alert, it is unknown when they would have discovered this heart condition, or how much it would have progressed. Thanks to the early discovery, he was able to be saved, and spent nearly 8 hours in surgery to fix his heart rhythm.

After a few tests and some monitored time playing football, he has since returned to full health, and released to play.

The event was reported by a local news station, Oklahoma's News 4.The teen wears his Apple Watch everyday and recommends anyone get one for their own heart health awareness. He will be the face of the Oklahoma American Heart Association Heart Walk on April 25.

This is not the first time we've seen a story of Apple Watch assisting in a diagnosis or saving someone. Jeff Williams is on record saying that it is the best news of the day when he arrives at work to find another email saying "Apple Watch saved me." Apple even shared videos detailing real stories of people who had been saved from an alert on their Apple Watch.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 34
    When you’re heart is racing at 190 bpm when you’re sitting still. I don’t think you need a watch to tell you something is wrong. 
    ivanh
  • Reply 2 of 34
    When you’re heart is racing at 190 bpm when you’re sitting still. I don’t think you need a watch to tell you something is wrong. 
    Sometimes this happens when you sleep!
    ihatescreennames
  • Reply 3 of 34
    When you’re heart is racing at 190 bpm when you’re sitting still. I don’t think you need a watch to tell you something is wrong. 
    While some people are aware of their heartbeat, most people aren't. Also, most people would be very uncomfortable with a heart rate of 190, but athletes' hearts are used to this, so athletes won't feel out of breath. All this to say that it is very likely that he, indeed, wouldn't have noticed that his heart was having a free game.
    GeorgeBMacStrangeDaysmwhitecharlesatlaspscooter63steveauBart Y
  • Reply 4 of 34
    ivanhivanh Posts: 597member
    How many lives had not been saved even though they were wearing Apple Watch? 
    What’s the percentage of life saved wearing an Apple Watch?

    If you don’t provide the figures together, merely saying that “an Apple Watch saved another life” is a disgraceful advertisement.

    Don’t hard-sell it, please.
  • Reply 5 of 34
    ivanhivanh Posts: 597member
    Apple should give every one in the Diamond Princess an Apple Watch too.
  • Reply 6 of 34
    Above_The_GodsAbove_The_Gods Posts: 25unconfirmed, member
    Can one of the mods ban this guy Ivanh?
    edited February 2020 wlymDancingMonkeysmwhitepscooter63fastasleepBart Y
  • Reply 7 of 34
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 3,489moderator
    ivanh said:
    How many lives had not been saved even though they were wearing Apple Watch? 
    What’s the percentage of life saved wearing an Apple Watch?

    If you don’t provide the figures together, merely saying that “an Apple Watch saved another life” is a disgraceful advertisement.

    Don’t hard-sell it, please.
    How exactly could this be known?  
    GeorgeBMacStrangeDaysmwhitepscooter63
  • Reply 8 of 34
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 6,957member
    ivanh said:
    How many lives had not been saved even though they were wearing Apple Watch? 
    What’s the percentage of life saved wearing an Apple Watch?

    If you don’t provide the figures together, merely saying that “an Apple Watch saved another life” is a disgraceful advertisement.

    Don’t hard-sell it, please.
    Well that’s the most ridiculous post I’ve read in a while. In your desperation to ding Apple you didn’t spend a second thinking through the nonsense you were about to write. 

    When Apple includes some sort of butthurt detector I’ll take you off the idiot list again to let you know. 
    StrangeDaysDancingMonkeysjony0Bart Y
  • Reply 9 of 34
    When you’re heart is racing at 190 bpm when you’re sitting still. I don’t think you need a watch to tell you something is wrong. 

    Most people conflate a high heart rate with conditions that promote both a high heart rate (to get the blood to the places that need it) and high breathing rates (to oxygenate the blood and mostly to remove CO2).  Without the high respiratory rate & the need to clear CO2, the high heart rate is hardly noticeable.

    In this particular case, he did not have a high respiration rate and his heart rate was less than 90% of his max heart rate -- which typically does not cause distress.
    Bart Y
  • Reply 10 of 34
    Another life was saved with the assistance of an Apple Watch -- this time a teen athlete in Oklahoma was alerted to an unusually high heart rate while in class.

    Apple Watch notifies users of any detected abnormal heart activity
    Apple Watch notifies users of any detected abnormal heart activity


    The middle school student received an alert on his two week old Apple Watch stating he had a high heart rate of 190bpm, despite being seated in class. He immediately texted a screenshot of the alert to his mother.

    "I got a text message along with a screenshot of his heart rate that was 190," the teen's mother said. "The following message saying, mommy, there's something wrong. I'm not doing anything."

    There had been no known issues with the teen's heart prior to this event. He was ultimately diagnosed with Supraventricular Tachycardia, or SVT.

    Without the Apple Watch alert, it is unknown when they would have discovered this heart condition, or how much it would have progressed. Thanks to the early discovery, he was able to be saved, and spent nearly 8 hours in surgery to fix his heart rhythm.

    After a few tests and some monitored time playing football, he has since returned to full health, and released to play.

    The event was reported by a local news station, Oklahoma's News 4.The teen wears his Apple Watch everyday and recommends anyone get one for their own heart health awareness. He will be the face of the Oklahoma American Heart Association Heart Walk on April 25.

    This is not the first time we've seen a story of Apple Watch assisting in a diagnosis or saving someone. Jeff Williams is on record saying that it is the best news of the day when he arrives at work to find another email saying "Apple Watch saved me." Apple even shared videos detailing real stories of people who had been saved from an alert on their Apple Watch.

    I wear my Series 4 about 23 hours a day.  
    Partly that is for heart health - or at least monitoring:   I use it to monitor my heart rate while running, track my VO2Max and to monitor my resting heart rate.   The latter is interesting:  typically it stays around 50BPM but when fully race ready can drop into the low 40's.   But 5 weeks ago I injured a rib and the resting heart rate went up close to 60 and stayed there until it resolved last week and the resting heart rate dropped back down to 50 again.  It provides a good indicator of heart & respiratory fitness.

    But, mostly I wear it for fall protection -- including the most dangerous times for falling:  while bathing and at night if I have to get to the bathroom while sleepy and in the dark.

    It also provides a way for me to get into my house if I lose or forget my keys.

    Honestly, the watch is becoming a more important part of my life than my phone.  i can leave the phone at home and really not miss it at all since I can even pay for what ever I need with the watch.  

    So, it stays on my wrist far more than my phone stays in my pocket.  Actually, at this point, the phone gets used mostly for Apple Music in my car or connected to my home stereo.
    viclauyycdedgeckojdb8167
  • Reply 11 of 34
    ivanh said:
    How many lives had not been saved even though they were wearing Apple Watch? 
    What’s the percentage of life saved wearing an Apple Watch?

    If you don’t provide the figures together, merely saying that “an Apple Watch saved another life” is a disgraceful advertisement.

    Don’t hard-sell it, please.
    You try so hard. You have serious Apple grievances, we get it. 
    edited February 2020 Bart Y
  • Reply 12 of 34
    Rayz2016 said:
    ivanh said:
    How many lives had not been saved even though they were wearing Apple Watch? 
    What’s the percentage of life saved wearing an Apple Watch?

    If you don’t provide the figures together, merely saying that “an Apple Watch saved another life” is a disgraceful advertisement.

    Don’t hard-sell it, please.
    Well that’s the most ridiculous post I’ve read in a while. In your desperation to ding Apple you didn’t spend a second thinking through the nonsense you were about to write. 

    When Apple includes some sort of butthurt detector I’ll take you off the idiot list again to let you know. 
    Perhaps your comment is in the running for "most ridiculous." If YOU think about it, you'll know that it is impossible to obtain the data outside of a large, expensive, prospective study. That is precisely the reason why Ivanh pointed out that without knowing how effective the Watch is for this purpose it's a shameless advertisement -- it is meant to prompt people to purchase the Watch without providing any data to show that it's truly efficacious for this purpose. Right now, we don't know if it detects 90% of the episodes of SVT or 0.090% of them. Moreover, teen athletes won't die from a pulse of 190; it approximates their pulse during strenuous activity, so stating blatantly that it "saved the life" of this kid is a deliberate misrepresentation, another factor that makes it a disgraceful advertisement. I have a 4th gen Apple Watch, I'm an MD, and I do believe that it's a worthwhile feature, but I think that reports like this one, and we've seen several, are generally intentionally misleading and therefore "disgraceful."
    edited February 2020
  • Reply 13 of 34
    payecopayeco Posts: 517member
    When you’re heart is racing at 190 bpm when you’re sitting still. I don’t think you need a watch to tell you something is wrong. 
    Sometimes this happens when you sleep!
    Exactly. In the video it said the kids doctor said his heart got all the way up to 280 bpm during night while he was sleeping awaiting his surgery.
  • Reply 14 of 34
    linkmanlinkman Posts: 1,026member
    milleron1 said:
    Rayz2016 said:
    ivanh said:
    How many lives had not been saved even though they were wearing Apple Watch? 
    What’s the percentage of life saved wearing an Apple Watch?

    If you don’t provide the figures together, merely saying that “an Apple Watch saved another life” is a disgraceful advertisement.

    Don’t hard-sell it, please.
    Well that’s the most ridiculous post I’ve read in a while. In your desperation to ding Apple you didn’t spend a second thinking through the nonsense you were about to write. 

    When Apple includes some sort of butthurt detector I’ll take you off the idiot list again to let you know. 
    Perhaps your comment is in the running for "most ridiculous." If YOU think about it, you'll know that it is impossible to obtain the data outside of a large, expensive, prospective study. That is precisely the reason why Ivanh pointed out that without knowing how effective the Watch is for this purpose it's a shameless advertisement -- it is meant to prompt people to purchase the Watch without providing any data to show that it's truly efficacious for this purpose. Right now, we don't know if it detects 90% of the episodes of SVT or 0.090% of them. Moreover, teen athletes won't die from a pulse of 190; it approximates their pulse during strenuous activity, so stating blatantly that it "saved the life" of this kid is a deliberate misrepresentation, another factor that makes it a disgraceful advertisement. I have a 4th gen Apple Watch, I'm an MD, and I do believe that it's a worthwhile feature, but I think that reports like this one, and we've seen several, are generally intentionally misleading and therefore "disgraceful."
    Are you saying that the kid's surgery was unnecessary (i.e.: not life-saving)?
    Bart Y
  • Reply 15 of 34
    ivanhivanh Posts: 597member
    When you’re heart is racing at 190 bpm when you’re sitting still. I don’t think you need a watch to tell you something is wrong. 
    Sometimes this happens when you sleep!
    Yes, while you’re dreaming.
  • Reply 16 of 34
    ivanhivanh Posts: 597member
    What did the cardiologist say? Did he/she declare “oh, it’s the Apple Watch that saved the boy.” I haven’t heard of it coming out of a physician.  
    Moreover, you may encounter all kinds of life threatening events and an Apple Watch only detects one out of thousands. So, don’t be too excited.
  • Reply 17 of 34
    When you’re heart is racing at 190 bpm when you’re sitting still. I don’t think you need a watch to tell you something is wrong. 
    Most likely correct. However, some people can be in denial. Some people suffer symptoms of an upcoming heart attack and although they know something’s wrong, they discount it. Having the Apple Watch alerting you of trouble can motivate you into action (go to the emergency room).
    StrangeDaysBart Y
  • Reply 18 of 34
    milleron1 said:

    Perhaps your comment is in the running for "most ridiculous." If YOU think about it, you'll know that it is impossible to obtain the data outside of a large, expensive, prospective study. That is precisely the reason why Ivanh pointed out that without knowing how effective the Watch is for this purpose it's a shameless advertisement -- it is meant to prompt people to purchase the Watch without providing any data to show that it's truly efficacious for this purpose. Right now, we don't know if it detects 90% of the episodes of SVT or 0.090% of them. Moreover, teen athletes won't die from a pulse of 190; it approximates their pulse during strenuous activity, so stating blatantly that it "saved the life" of this kid is a deliberate misrepresentation, another factor that makes it a disgraceful advertisement. I have a 4th gen Apple Watch, I'm an MD, and I do believe that it's a worthwhile feature, but I think that reports like this one, and we've seen several, are generally intentionally misleading and therefore "disgraceful."

    I don't think this as "advertised", but rather reporting one of the watch's benefits.  And Apple is certainly interested in using the watch for health monitoring.

    It *might* be a bit too much credit to state the watch "saved the life" of someone, but it would be accurate to state the watch can greatly help identify irregular heart rhythms.  The alternative, at least right now, is wear nothing.

    In terms of the sensitivity / specificity of the ECG with respect to various level of AFib, I'm sure you're aware that Stanford Med ran a multi-year observational / volunteer study of > 400K patients.  They report the findings on their site <link>.  I find it very encouraging in terms of personal health management in the future, with Apple leading the way.      
    Bart Y
  • Reply 19 of 34
    Ivanh actually has a point.  Statistically speaking, if hospitals tracked someone who died from a heart attack and was also wearing an Apple Watch, you could fairly state the watch did not help save that person’s life.  Is that data tracked?  I don’t know.  It would also be fair to say the person would have died with or without the watch.  But if you follow that logic, than it is equally fair to say that someone who did not die from a heart attack, would not have died with or without the watch on.  The watch may have alerted them to the problem, but would they have figured it out anyway, or would a love one seen the heart attack and acted?  Proximity to a hospital and the severity of the heart attack will all play a role.  You can’t contribute the reason someone lives just because they were wearing an Apple Watch.  

    As for the comments about heart rate.  I am a competitive cyclist and can only get my heart rate up to the 190 range with a very big effort.  I do that often, but man my heart is pounding in my chest!  It is very noticeable and I don’t need a watch to feel that.  Is part of that due to heavy breathing?  That may be the case, but 191 is very fast.  I feel fairly certain if my heart was at 191 sitting in a chair I would immediately know it.  

    My farther-in-law is 93 and has heart issues.  I’ve had him wear my Apple Watch and done the EKG and it always shows afib.  We don’t rush him into the hospital because that is a constant state for him.  He controls his heart with drugs and his doctor is aware of the situation.

    The Apple Watch is cool in many ways, but what it catches or misses when it comes to saving lives probably needs a lot more study.  
  • Reply 20 of 34
    I agree, "saved my life" is way over the top here. A 190 BPM is interesting but hardly life threatening for most people especially a teenager. You need to have it checked out but not an emergency per se.... especially if converts within say 20 minutes. If he wasn't out of breath or feeling faint, so what. Happened to me over 190 BPM while grocery shopping and lasted for over 15 minutes and I am older than this teenager. No shortness of breath, didn't feel faint, practically didn't even notice. I did have it checked out like a year later by a cardiologist who laughed. I insisted I wanted thorough tests (at my expense if need be) and the cardiologist concluded I'll never need to see a cardiologist for the rest of my life as all was great. No major symptoms but had felt a tad funny for some reason when my Apple Watch showed 190+... Anyway, the Apple Watch is great... I love mine, but probably rarely a "life saver" but it can provide an alert for concerns. My story is "real world" versus some people who are posting about things they don't know about or have no direct experience with. 190 is technically above my 100% for my age but the cardiologist had zero concerns and said EMT's and emergency room docs blow such a thing way out of proportion.
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