Friday, April 07, 2006

Guidant Recall - Guidant Pacemaker Defibrillator Recall

Guidant Recall - Guidant Pacemaker Defibrillator Recall: "Guidant Related Deaths
Heart disease continues as one of the biggest killers in the United States. Heart failure, also known as cardiac arrest, occurs when the heart stops pumping blood properly. This illness leads to 200,000 to 400,000 deaths per year.

The Guidant devices are designed to extend the lives of heart disease patients, but if a defibrillator is defective, it could have devastating effects, including patient death. When the Guidant devices are defective, either the irregularity of the heart rate is not detected or the proper electrical impulses for treatment are not delivered to the heart. If the proper therapy is not provided, the heart can cease proper functioning and the patient could perish or suffer serious injuries due to lack of proper blood flow.

It is Guidant's responsibility to maintain the highest quality standards for their pacemaker and defibrillator products and insure that if any quality issue arises, immediate steps are taken to protect the patients. Two deaths have been reported to date related to the Guidant defibrillator recall defect."

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Defibrillator - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Defibrillator - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: "Biphasic Defibrillation

Until recently, external defibrillators relied on monophasic shock waves. Electrical pulses are sent rapidly from one electrode to the other, only in one direction. Biphasic defibrillation, however, alternates the direction of the pulses, completing one cycle in approximately 10 milliseconds. Biphasic defibrillation was originally developed and used for implantable cardioverter-defibrillators. When applied to external defibrillators, biphasic defibrillation significantly decreases the energy level necessary for successful defibrillation. This, in turn, decreases risk of burns and myocardial damage. However, there is limited evidence to suggest that biphasic defibrillation is superior to monophasic defibrillators, although the small capacitor size required for the defibrillator can result in significant cost and size savings-- essential for the proliferation of Automated External Defibrillators."

Sunday, April 02, 2006

LIFECOR - LifeVest

LIFECOR - LifeVest: "

When to Use the LifeVest™ System

The LifeVest was designed as an intermediate-term treatment option for people at high risk for sudden cardiac arrest (SCA). Right now, people at a high, short-term risk of SCA are typically monitored in a hospital intensive care (ICU) or coronary care unit (CCU). With monitored beds costing up to $2,000 a day, this option quickly becomes very expensive and is primarily reserved for critical care patients.

Patients with a high, long-term risk of SCA are often candidates for an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD), but this option is also expensive (up to $65,000) and requires surgery. According to Morgan Stanley, only one out of six US patients who need an ICD actually get one.*

The LifeVest fills the therapeutic gap between hospitalization and an ICD. The LifeVest has the same important characteristics of both an ICU/CCU and the ICD; it continuously monitors the heart and is designed to provide prompt defibrillation when needed. LIFECOR®, Inc. believes that the LifeVest has the potential to become the standard of care for intermediate-term patients. And, in cases when an ICD is not feasible, it also can serve as a longer-term alternative."