The American Heart Association Rapid Access Journal Report recently reported that the shock from implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) may trigger an increase in heath care needs for a number of patients, whether the shock was needed or not.
The report highlights data from a study published by the American Heart Association Journal entitled Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes. The study found that, whether needed or not, those patients often underwent more invasive cardiac procedures after the shock. According to the AHA, programming strategies that reduce the ICD shocks could also possibly reduce health care costs and even improve health of the patients.
ICDs are used to save the lives of patients who suffer sudden cardiac death. ICDs deliver a shock that restores a normal heart rhythm when other parts of the heart cause it to beat in an erratic way. The device often errs when it mistakenly interprets a different rhythm issue as ventricular arrhythmia, such as abnormal rhythms in the heart usually started within the lower chambers of the heart.
The lead author of the study is Dr Mintu Turakhia, cardiac electrophysiologist and senior director of research and innovation at the Center for Digital Health at Stanford University.
“ICDs cannot assess patients the way a doctor can,” Turakhia said. “The device doesn’t know, for instance, if the patient is unconscious or has a pulse. We wanted to see what happens after a shock, in terms of care and cost, to help define the potential benefit of smarter ways to program these devices.”
The study included an analysis of patient experience for more than 10,000 participants who had ICD implants in the United States sometime between 2008 and 2010. They linked data that was sent to the manufacturers of the device with patient health care records. The study showed that 38 percent of 1,885 shocks for 963 patients around 61 years old were likely unnecessary.
Shocks from ICD devices may result in unneeded procedures
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