Apple Watch Saves Teen’s Life, Heart Rate Monitor Proves Its Worth

Essel Pratt - Author

Sep. 21 2015, Updated 7:11 a.m. ET

A 17-year-old boy’s life was saved by his Apple Watch during football practice. The Apple Watch showed a normal heart rate for most of the day, but after two back to back football practices, his heart rate doubled and did not go back down to normal.

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Paul Houle Jr. was wearing his Apple Watch during practice and played around with the heart rate monitor throughout the day. For most of the day, his heart rate averaged between 60 and 70 beats per minute, according to Slashgear. As the day continued and he participated in two football practices, he noticed that his heart rate jumped to 145 beats per minute. He became concerned when the heart rate did not lower, and his back started to experience pain. Houle shared the escalated heart rate with his trainer, who in turn manually measured his heart rate.

Houle’s trainer referred him to the school nurse for further investigation. The nurse became concerned at the abnormality of his heart rate and proceeded to take Houle to the hospital.

Houle shared that the pains he was experiencing, combined with the heart rate that would not go down, scared him.

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“I had pain in my chest and my back whenever I took some deep breaths. After practice I went and took a nap, my heart rate was still at 145.”

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WCVB shared that Houle became concerned by the reading on the Apple Watch, but probably would not have acted on the pains if not for the heart rate reading.

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“If my Apple Watch hadn’t shown me it was 145, I would have done nothing about it.”

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At the hospital, Houle was diagnosed with Rhabdomyolysis. If left unchecked, the condition would have released myoglobin into his blood and could have resulted in the shutdown of Houle’s kidneys, liver, and heart. If he had not sought out medical attention, it is estimated that Houle would have been dead by the next day.

Officials warn that the Apple Watch may have saved Houle’s life by warning of the elevated heart rate. However, they are quick to note that the Apple Watch is not a replacement for trained medical professionals. If anything feels off, seek medical attention, despite what the Apple Watch, or any other monitoring device, might suggest. However, if you have a monitor, be sure to understand how it works and follow the directions as needed.

[Photo by Stephen Lam / Getty Images News]


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