ICDs Best for Preventing Sudden Cardiac Death

Sudden cardiac arrest often occurs without prior symptoms and it results in as many as 325,000 deaths a year in the United States. Only 3 to 10 percent of people who experience sudden cardiac arrest outside a hospital setting survive. Today, advances in technology and treatment give hope to those at risk. Using implantable cardioverter … Read More

ICD Security Risks: More Fiction Than Fact

A recent Homeland television episode dramatized the fictitious assassination of the U.S. vice president. The diabolical method: hacking into the remote device that controlled the vice president’s implantable defibrillator. In a real-world parallel, former U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney admitted in a television interview that his fear of assassination led him to ask his physician … Read More

Pacemakers and Defibrillators Save Lives In Different Ways

If your heart isn’t beating at the right rate or rhythm, doctors have several options to help you. Pacemakers and defibrillators take over pacing your heartbeat when heart disease and other conditions play havoc with heart rhythms. Your heart signals Normally, electrical impulses generated in your heart stimulate the heart to contract. This moves blood … Read More

Wireless Pacemakers: Rhythm Without Blues

Traditional pacemakers are implanted under the skin and attached to a wire that is inserted directly into the heart muscle. The device generates a current that travels down the wire to control the heart’s contractions. Complications related to pacemakers are generally related to these wires, known as leads, which can fracture or become infected. Removing … Read More

How Implantable Defibrillators Shock Your Heart Into Normal Rhythm

Many medical dramas on TV or in the movies feature defibrillation or “shock” paddles when someone is in the midst of a cardiac arrest. Similarly, an implantable cardioverter defibrillator, or ICD, is an electronic device that constantly monitors your heart rhythm. It delivers energy to the heart muscle once it detects a very fast, abnormal … Read More