HealthWACH: Bringing hearts back to life

HealthWACH: Bringing hearts back to life

COLUMBIA (WACH) - Implantable cardiac defibrillators (ICD) are implanted into a patient to monitor the heart. According to the FDA, the ICD is surgically implanted just beneath the skin near the collarbone. It shocks the heart into normal rhythm when the device senses dangerous abnormal heart rhythms. The CDC reports:

  • About 600,000 people die of heart disease in the United States every year; thatâ??s one in every four deaths.

  • Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women.

  • More than half of the deaths due to heart disease in 2009 were in men

  • The ICD is used for patients who have heart failure and are at risk of sudden cardiac death. The candidates typically have:

  • abnormally fast heart arrhythmias

  • exhibit related heart failure

  • take congestive heart failure medicines

  • have high blood pressure, diabetes, or hyperthyroidism

  • The new implantable cardiac defibrillator uses a single lead filled with sensors. It detects changes in the top chambers of the heart. When there are changes, the ICD shocks the heart back to normal. This helps doctors get more information about what's happening to the heart so their decisions can be more accurate. The new device reduces the patientsâ?? exposure to radiation and post op infections. Until now the only option was implanting multiple leads, which can lead to more complications.