Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Innovative new defibrillator offers alternative for regulating heart beat

Date:
October 3, 2012
Source:
University of Ottawa Heart Institute
Summary:
Cardiologists have implanted a new innovative leadless defibrillator, the subcutaneous implantable cardioverter defibrillator (S-ICD), to a 18 year-old patient. This was only the third time this new type of ICD had been implanted in Canada.

A new ground-breaking technology was recently used at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute (UOHI) where two cardiologists, Dr. David Birnie and Dr. Pablo Nery, implanted a new innovative leadless defibrillator, the subcutaneous implantable cardioverter defibrillator (S-ICD), to a 18 year-old patient.
Credit: Image courtesy of University of Ottawa Heart Institute

A new ground-breaking technology was recently used at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute (UOHI) where two cardiologists, Dr. David Birnie and Dr. Pablo Nery, implanted a new innovative leadless defibrillator, the subcutaneous implantable cardioverter defibrillator (S-ICD), to a 18 year-old patient. Under Health Canada's special access program, this was only the third time this new type of ICD had been implanted in Canada.

Conventional defibrillators, known as transvenous defibrillators, are implanted with wires, called the leads, that snake through veins into the heart. When the defibrillator identifies any dangerous heartbeat, it delivers a shock through the wires to return the heart to its normal rhythm and allows it to get back to pumping blood steadily throughout the body.

Not all patients are suitable for a conventional defibrillator. In some with congenital heart problems, there is no way to advance the leads into the heart through the veins. Also, those wires may pose a danger due to the risk of blood clots or infection. Patients often have to undergo a more complex and invasive surgery to attach the leads to the outer layer of the heart muscle in order to benefit from the use of a defibrillator

Conventional ICDs use leads that run from the device through major veins to an anchor point in the heart. These transvenous leads can cause problems in the long term. Despite decades of design improvements, leads can malfunction, break or stop working. Known as lead failure, this results in either inappropriate shocks or lack of proper regulation of the heartbeat. What's worse is that failed leads often must be removed, which poses serious risks to the patient.

What makes the new device special is that it is entirely subcutaneous. No part of it actually touches the heart. Instead, an electrode is implanted just under the skin near the heart. The defibrillator is connected to the electrode, and monitors the heartbeat at all times. If needed, it delivers a shock to the heart muscle to restore its normal rhythm.

The goal of the subcutaneous ICD is to potentially reduce or eliminate these problems. "The subcutaneous ICD provides effective therapy for patients who are either not eligible for or are at high risk with a traditional ICD. Such patients may now be able to receive protection from a subcutaneous ICD without the risks associated with the standard leads," explained Dr. Nery.

That made the 18-year-old recipient of the S-ICD at the Heart Institute a perfect candidate. "The S-ICD offers advantages for particular patient sub-groups," said Dr. Nery. "This technology is now an alternative for young patients, in part because lead extraction can be avoided down the road."

Another advantage is more aesthetic in nature but, nonetheless, important for young people. A conventional transvenous defibrillator sits on the front on the chest, just under the collarbone, and is easy to see. The S- ICD, in comparison, is implanted to the side, under the patient's arm, and with a much smaller incision than with the transvenous defibrillator. That, said Dr. Nery, is an important consideration for many patients in terms of body image and quality of life.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Ottawa Heart Institute. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Ottawa Heart Institute. "Innovative new defibrillator offers alternative for regulating heart beat." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 October 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121003082927.htm>.
University of Ottawa Heart Institute. (2012, October 3). Innovative new defibrillator offers alternative for regulating heart beat. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121003082927.htm
University of Ottawa Heart Institute. "Innovative new defibrillator offers alternative for regulating heart beat." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121003082927.htm (accessed July 29, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

AP (July 28, 2014) West African nations and international health organizations are working to contain the largest Ebola outbreak in history. It's one of the deadliest diseases known to man, but the CDC says it's unlikely to spread in the U.S. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
$15B Deal on Vets' Health Care Reached

$15B Deal on Vets' Health Care Reached

AP (July 28, 2014) A bipartisan deal to improve veterans health care would authorize at least $15 billion in emergency spending to fix a veterans program scandalized by long patient wait times and falsified records. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Two Americans Contract Ebola in Liberia

Two Americans Contract Ebola in Liberia

Reuters - US Online Video (July 28, 2014) Two American aid workers in Liberia test positive for Ebola while working to combat the deadliest outbreak of the virus ever. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

AP (July 28, 2014) Classes are being offered nationwide to encourage African Americans to learn about cooking fresh foods based on traditional African cuisine. The program is trying to combat obesity, heart disease and other ailments often linked to diet. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins