Sunday, April 11, 2021

Police and Tactical Flight Officer's Story




As an active and healthy police and tactical flight officer, 49-year-old Marc Geiger understands that being a first responder can come with its fair share of stress. So when he started experiencing symptoms of atrial fibrillation in early 2020, Marc knew he needed help.

Marc was mid-flight when he felt nausea and arm pain. After landing, medics determined Marc’s blood pressure was high and brought him to the ER in case of a heart attack. Marc’s doctor originally diagnosed him with thoracic impingement syndrome, meaning that some of his blood vessels could have been compressed - likely from a prior shoulder surgery - causing his arm pain and nausea. Marc brushed it off and continued his life.

About a month later, Marc was on another routine flight when he experienced his next incident. He recalled being frustrated as he tried to radio the communications center, “I knew what I wanted to say, but I just couldn’t get the words out. My speech was delayed, and my partner knew something was wrong,” said Marc. He doesn’t remember being taken out of the helicopter by the medics.

Back at the hospital, Marc’s doctors began neurological tests. After days of exams, the official diagnosis came in – Marc had experienced a transient ischemic attack (TIA), which is a ‘mini-stroke’ that lasts only a few minutes. His doctors talked with him about next steps.

Finding peace of mind – and Atrial Fibrillation

After identifying the TIA, Marc’s physician was concerned he might have atrial fibrillation (AF), a common condition in which the upper chambers of the heart beat very fast and irregularly. As a result, blood is not pumped effectively to the rest of the body and may pool and clot. If a clot dislodges, it can travel to the brain and result in a stroke. AF increases the risk of stroke more than five times, but it often goes undetected since it can happen infrequently and without symptoms.

Marc’s physician recommended he receive a Medtronic LINQ IITM insertable cardiac monitor (ICM). LINQ II is a small, wireless ICM for patients at increased risk of abnormal heart rhythms. The device is one-third the size of a AAA battery, placed just beneath the skin in a minimally invasive procedure. By continuously monitoring the heart, LINQ II gives physicians relevant data to help diagnose and define treatment for underlying, infrequent heart conditions like AF.

With the LINQ II ICM continuously monitoring Marc’s heart, he finds peace of mind knowing his physician is recording the data to ultimately figure out next steps for treatment. He feels confident that his LINQ II device will help unlock even more answers to his heart health.

To learn more about ICM’s, visit

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