ICDs 'reduce VF-related cardiac arrests'

7 August 2012

Implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICD) could see a decrease in cardiac arrests caused by ventricular fibrillation (VF), a new study indicates.

Research published in the journal Circulation revealed that the implantation of the devices in patients in North-Holland saw a drop in cardiac arrests caused by VF by one-third.

During the three year study, researchers estimate that the ICDs prevented 81 cardiac arrests. They achieved this number by multiplying the number of potentially lethal abnormal heart rhythms stopped by an ICD to the probability that the heart rhythm would have resulted in an emergency call and an attempt at resuscitation.

Senior author Rudolph W Koster said: "At least one in 20 ICD carriers can expect a life-saving shock from their device each year."

Previous studies have seen cardiac arrests due to abnormal heart rhythms suffered outside the hospital drop in the US and Europe from 54 per cent to 38 per cent.

Posted by Edward Bartel

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