St. Michael's Hospital first in Ontario to implant powerful new defibrillator

December 21, 2010

TORONTO, Ont., Dec. 21, 2010 - St. Michael's Hospital today became the first in Ontario to implant a small but powerful new defibrillator into a patient's chest.

The defibrillator - about the size of a Zippo lighter - is the smallest available in terms of surface area and can deliver the highest level of energy, 40 joules.

The narrow shape of the device allowed Dr. Iqwal Mangat to make a smaller incision in the patient's chest, which should mean a faster recovery and smaller scar. The "minimally invasive" procedure is performed on an outpatient basis, with most patients going home the same day. The small size also means less patient discomfort and less obvious signs of the device under the patient's skin.

The high-energy capability of this device is especially important for patients who have an enlarged weak heart, advanced heart failure or have previously required a high amount of energy to shock their heart back to a normal rhythm.. This device is also coupled with an additional lead on the left side of the heart that allows the heart to "resynchronize," potentially allowing patients to feel more energy and less short of breath.

"The more energy there is in a device to shock a patient, the more likely it is their life will be saved by that device," said Dr. Mangat, director of the hospital's arrhythmia services. "Most people don't need a lot of energy, but sometimes they do."
-end-
The new Unify CRT-D defibrillator is made by St. Jude Medical, Inc., based in St. Paul, MN.

St. Michael's implants about 290 defibrillators and 230 pacemakers a year.

What is the difference between a pacemaker and an implanted defibrillator?A pacemaker is about one-quarter the size of a defibrillator. It monitors your heart rhythm - which slows with age and certain medications - and sends electrical pulses to your heart if it is beating too slow or you miss a heartbeat.

A defibrillator is a small, battery-powered device that treats a dangerous fast heart rhythm by delivering a jolt of electricity to the heart. They are typically implanted in patients who have or are at risk for developing ventricular tachycardia or ventricular fibrillation, two types of very fast and life-threatening heart rhythms that originate from the ventricles, the lower chambers of the heart.

About St. Michael's Hospital

St. Michael's Hospital provides compassionate care to all who enter its doors. The Hospital also provides outstanding medical education to future health care professionals in more than 23 academic disciplines. Critical care and trauma, heart disease, neurosurgery, diabetes, cancer care, and care of the homeless are among the Hospital's recognized areas of expertise. Through the Keenan Research Centre and the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, research at St. Michael's Hospital is recognized and put into practice around the world. Founded in 1892, the Hospital is fully affiliated with the University of Toronto.

St. Michael's Hospital

Related Defibrillator Articles from Brightsurf:

Magnetic component in e-cigarettes found to interfere with implantable cardioverter-defibrillator function
An e-cigarette carried in the left breast shirt pocket of a patient with an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) caused magnetic reversion, interrupting the ICD's ability to detect and treat dangerous heart rhythm problems, clinicians report in HeartRhythm Case Reports, published by Elsevier.

Who benefits from a defibrillator?
Implantable defibrillators can save lives, but also harbor risks. A major European study headed by three researchers from the Technical University of Munich (TUM), LMU München and University Medical Center Göttingen has found that a special ECG method can help to identify the patients most likely to benefit from these devices.

More heart failure patients may benefit from CRT defibrillator
Certain groups of heart failure patients may see improved heart function with cardiac resynchronization therapy with defibrillator (CRT-D) if traditional implantable cardioverter defibrillator treatment does not work, according to research published today in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Team studies smarter automatic defibrillator
Automatic implantable cardiac defibrillators (AICDs) deliver shocks to the heart to correct arrythmias.

Patients with common heart failure more likely to have lethal heart rhythms
New Smidt Heart Institute Research shows that patients with Heart Failure with Preserved Ejection Fraction (HFpEF) are more likely to have lethal heart rhythms.

Wearable defibrillator lowers sudden cardiac death, but only when you wear it
An international clinical trial that studied wearable cardioverter defibrillators (WCDs) found that the devices did not significantly reduce sudden cardiac death -- the primary goal of the device -- among patients assigned to the device in the first 90 days after a heart attack, but did lower mortality among those who wore it as prescribed, according to a study led by researchers at UC San Francisco.

A new algorithm designed to make cardiopulmonary resuscitation more effective
Researchers in the UPV/EHU's Signal and Communications Group in collaboration with researchers in the Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) have developed an algorithm to guide an effective cardiopulmonary resuscitation manoeuvre.

Wearable defibrillator cuts overall mortality, but not sudden deaths after heart attack
Wearing a lightweight vest equipped with a cardioverter defibrillator that detects abnormal heart rhythms in addition to taking recommended medications is associated with a reduction in the likelihood of dying during the first 90 days following a heart attack in people whose heart function was also impaired, according to a study presented at the American College of Cardiology's 67th Annual Scientific Session.

Cardiac arrest survival greatly increases when bystanders use an automated external defibrillator
Survival from cardiac arrest doubled when bystanders stepped in to use a publicly-available automated external defibrillator rather than wait until emergency responders arrived.

People are reluctant to use public defibrillators to treat cardiac arrests
A study led the University of Warwick suggests that people are reluctant to use public-access defibrillators to treat cardiac arrests.

Read More: Defibrillator News and Defibrillator Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.