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New Defibrillator Works Without Wires Touching Heart

Lakewood Defib


By Brian Hews

LAKEWOOD, CA – Lakewood Regional Medical Center announced that the new Boston Scientific device that treats dangerously rapid heartbeats without touching the patient’s heart or blood vessels was implanted in the first patient in the Greater Long Beach–Lakewood -Downey area on June 10, 2014.

Raymond Barrows, 72, of Long Beach, was in need of a defibrillator because of depressed heart muscles. Dr. Anantjit Singh, electrophysiologist at Lakewood Regional Medical Center recommended the use of a new heart device, called a subcutaneous implantable defibrillator or S-ICD™ System.

The defibrillator is placed outside the patient’s rib cage and no wires are implanted inside the heart or blood vessels. Previous defibrillator models required the insertion of wires in the patient’s blood vessels and heart. With the absence of wires in this area, patients have less of a chance of infection to the heart and blood vessels and less chance of damage to the wires from wear and tear within the body. A less invasive procedure, patients can potentially leave the hospital the same day.

“This device is revolutionizing the way we treat patients with arrhythmias and weakened heart muscles because it offers them an alternative with lower risk of infection to the heart and blood vessels while providing the same level of protection,” explained Dr. Singh, who implanted the first device at Lakewood Regional Medical Center. “For people who may have issues with their blood vessels, such as dialysis patients, this technology allows their blood vessels to remain available for other functions. This is also a solution for those patients who are prone to having defibrillator wires break while in their body from pressure placed on them by bones and muscles. The S-ICD System is placed below the skin, where there is less mechanical stress on the wire.”

Sudden cardiac arrest is an abrupt loss of heart function. Most episodes are caused by the rapid and/or chaotic activity of the heart known as ventricular tachycardia or ventricular fibrillation. Approximately 850,000 people in the U.S. are at risk of sudden cardiac arrest.

“We are pleased to offer this first of its kind heart defibrillator” said Daniel Moreno, RN,MS, director of cardiology services at Lakewood Regional Medical Center” The subcutaneous ICD is a breakthrough treatment that is an innovative alternative for patients for whom the more invasive, traditional ICD is not possible.”