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Those at risk for arrhythmia-related sudden cardiac arrest (SCA), a condition in which the heart suddenly and unexpectedly stops beating, may benefit frombenefit from a breakthrough cardiovascular technology, the subcutaneous implantable defibrillator (S-ICD). S-ICD delivers the same protection as the implantable defibrillators that have been in use for decades, but offers an important advantage: it sits just below the skin. This eliminates the need for thin, insulated wires known as electrodes or "leads" to be placed into the heart itself, which leaves the heart and blood vessels untouched.
"The biggest benefit of S-ICD is that it eliminates problems associated with the intravenous leads," explains cardiologist Thomas Svinarich, MD, FACC. "Leads implanted in the heart and blood vessels are constantly moving. Electrode wires wear out and have to be replaced. Here, we have a subcutaneous lead — under the skin, on the chest — that isn't subject to those stresses. So we expect patient complications, in the long run, to be much reduced."
Candidates for the S-ICD system include:
St. Anthony Hospital is very excited to be one of the first hospitals in the region to offer the S-ICD.
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