Friday, September 13, 2013
A Kansas cardiologist calls the medical device implanted into a Wichita State University basketball player this week a life-saver.
D.J. Bowles underwent surgery Thursday at the Mayo Clinic to have an implantable cardioverter defibrillator installed, the university said Friday.
"It's a life-saver," Kansas Medical Center Cardiologist Roger Evans said. "It's a life-saver."
The defibrillator Bowles now carries is not very big, but Evans said it makes a huge difference.
"Defibrillators are used when the heart has a risk of speeding up too fast and actually killing somebody," Evans said.
He said defibrillators spring into action as soon as they detect an abnormal heartbeat.
"If your heart goes too fast, it will try to catch up with your heart and slow it down or if it doesn't slow down, it will then shock you," Evans said.
Wichita State athletics officials said Friday Bowles' surgery at the Mayo Clinic was successful. He went there this week for tests and treatment after collapsing 30 minutes into the Shockers' practice Sept. 3.
Bowles said on his Twitter feed he would return to Wichita Saturday.
The university hasn't said whether Bowles will be able to return to the court for the Shockers. Evans stressed he does not know Bowles' medical history or exact condition, but the cardiologist said simply having the defibrillator is not enough on its own to keep Bowles from playing basketball.
"With a defibrillator in place, this would keep him from running that risk of having a fast heart rhythm and fainting," Evans said. "It would actually shock his heart back to normal."
Evans said it is unusual for someone as young as Bowles to need a defibrillator, but he said people are often born with or develop conditions that are undetected until something serious happens.