An American teenage football player credits an Apple watch with saving his life after it alerted him that his heart rate was extremely high.

Eighteen year-old Paul Houle reported feeling fine after a “hard” training session other than a bit of soreness and back pain.

He said he took a shower and a nap and just happened to look at his watch on waking, which showed his resting heart rate to be 145 beats per minute.

The teenager assumed the watch was broken, according to a report in the Huffington Post, but the school nurse confirmed the reading.

“I thought it was a neat little feature, but didn’t see myself really using it,” he told the news website. “What I thought was so tiny and not important turned out to be a life-changing decision.”

Mr Houle was rushed to hospital and diagnosed with rhabdomyolysis, believed to be due to overexerting himself in sweltering heat.

Rhabdomyolysis is a dangerous breakdown of muscle fibres, leading to the release of the muscle components into the bloodstream. These muscle components are toxic to the kidney which suffers damage when it tries to filter the blood as normal. Rhabdomyolysis can result in kidney damage, cardiac arrest and death. Symptoms of rhabdomyolysis are high resting heart rate, muscle aches, stiffness and weakness, and darkening of the urine – often making it red or cola-coloured.

Last Reviewed: 25/09/2015