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Apple Watch saves woman after 'widow maker' heart attack

The Apple Watch Series 4 introduced a built-in ECG.

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A Michigan woman credits the Apple Watch for saving her life by detecting she had a high heart rate — that was caused by a heart attack.

On April 22, Diane Feenstra of Norton Shores saw that she had a high heart rate on her Apple Watch. She had a heart rate of 169 beats per minute, despite the most vigorous exercise she did that day was walking up 12 steps.

Concerned, she called her husband, who referred her to her doctor. A visit to urgent care confirmed that she had a recent heart attack — but other than the Apple Watch's heart rate warning, Feenstra wasn't aware that it had taken place.

The symptoms of the heart attack are different for a woman, she explained to ABC13. "I had pain going down my left hand, I had a little swelling in my left foot, I had indigestion that I just explained away as acid reflux that I was experiencing as I got older."

The emergency room gave her aspirin and sent her to Meijer Heart for further examination. Days later, it was determined that she had a blockage in the "Widow maker artery," which was repaired with a stent procedure.

The Apple Watch was credited as being the main reason for Feenstra to ask for assistance. "It's such an easy thing to see what your heart rate is," she said. "Had I not done that that morning, who knows, but I may have had another heart attack that would have been fatal."

Apple's wearable device has been proclaimed as a life-saver on many occasions, and in various ways. In February, a report claimed it had saved a man who regularly ran after detecting arrhythmia, while in June, its fall detection feature assisted a 78-year-old man who had broken his nose and passed out after a fall.

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