Features November 2007 Issue

New Implantable Defibrillators Improve Quality of Life

Technological advances allow todayís patients with ICDs to safely engage in a variety of regular activities.

In the past, implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs) were often considered a life-saving device that kept patients alive, but limited their quality of life. Todayís improved ICDs are a whole new story. Designed to quickly detect a life-threatening, rapid heartbeat and shock it back to normalcy, these tiny devices permit patients to lead active lives on a par with their healthy peers, according to a study in the April 2007 issue of Pacing and Clinical Electrophysiology. "Patients with defibrillators are able to maintain active lives, often including driving, golfing, travelling, and hiking alone in the woods, without being afraid that they arenít adequately protected," says Bruce L. Wilkoff, MD, director of Cardiac Pacing & Tachyarrhythmia Devices in the Department of Cardiovascular Medicine at Cleveland Clinic.

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