Tuesday, January 4, 2011

A Lifesaver That Could Turn Deadly

A new survey out of Duke University has found that one out of five patients who had received implantable cardioverter defibrillators or ICD's are greater risk of dying of heart attacks because of the device. 100,000 people were in the study and although the risk of dying was not great it was significant enough for the scientists to raise the alert. ICD is can save the lives of patients with advanced systolic heart failure. They do this by finding irregular heart rhythms and sending electrical shock to the heart which allows it to be normally again. This can be lifesaving and it is dramatic. But evidence-based medicine as shown that certain people should not have the ICD's. These can include people recovering from a heart attack or bypass surgery. If you have any concerns about ICD you have you should talk with your cardiologist about them. However I need to stress this is a large study in on an individual basis there is no need to panic. The odds are overwhelming that there will be no problem but it's wise to take the available information and ask questions if you think it applies to you

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