Fitness trackers are getting credit for doing more than just counting steps and tracking weight loss.
One woman says without hers, she might be dead.
"I was pushing it, I'm a very lucky girl,” said Pat Lauder, who said her Fitbit helped save her life.
She had a total knee replacement about a year ago, and during her recovery, she bought a Fitbit to keep track of her steps and help manage her weight loss goals.
"That was the main reason I bought the Fitbit initially, which was well over a year ago, so it certainly helped me under the most recent circumstances,” Lauder said.
A few months ago, Lauder started to not feel so well.
"I had a sinus infection that was getting chronically worst, then I thought maybe shifted to pneumonia. I went to the doctors and that turned out to be negative,” Lauder said.
Then she began experiencing shortness of breath.
She checked her Fitbit, which showed her resting heart rate was steadily rising every day.
"When it finally got to the point where walking across the room was a major issue, I decided it was time to call 911,” Lauder said.
Her normal heart rate of 68 beats-per-minute had climbed to 140.
She went to UConn Health and got a CT Scan.
"And that showed a large clot in the lung artery in both sides,” said Dr. Juyong Lee, of UConn Health.
Lee explains the blood clots in the lung can over-pressurize the heart, leading the body's blood pressure and oxygen level to drop.
He applied clot-busting drugs directly into those clots in her lungs through a catheter. The next day, the clots were gone.
"Dr. Lee says Fitbits like the one I'm wearing on my wrist right now are not only good tools to track your steps, but you can also monitor the changes in your heart rate just like Pat did,” Lee said.
Lee added that if Lauder didn’t notice the change as quickly as she did, the results could have been deadly.
Lauder says it's all thanks to the little device on her wrist, and a quick acting medical team.
"They might not have been able to resuscitate her if it was too late,” Lee said.
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