Features June 2011 Issue

Clinical Guidelines Only Part of ICD Implantation Decision Criteria

The judgment of the physician and a patientís individual circumstances also must be considered when deciding to implant a cardiac device.

The decision to implant a cardiac device such as an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) is one that involves a thorough assessment of the patientís overall health and his risk of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA). ICDs help patients at risk of recurrent and sustained ventricular tachycardia (a rapid heartbeat) or fibrillation (rapid, but irregular heartbeat), by sending electrical signals to the heart to help restore it to a normal rhythm. SCAs claim more lives in the U.S. than any other medical condition, including breast cancer, lung cancer and AIDS.

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