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Washington University and Barnes-Jewish Heart Specialists First in Missouri to Implant Subcutaneous ICD
Date:12/2/2013

St. Louis (PRWEB) December 02, 2013

Heart specialists at the Washington University and Barnes-Jewish Heart & Vascular Center were the first in Missouri to implant a subcutaneous implantable cardioverter defibrillator (S-ICD) into a patient during a procedure that took place on Friday, Nov. 29. Unlike the traditional ICD used to help treat arrhythmias such as tachycardia, the S-ICD does not place wires inside the heart or blood vessels.

During the procedure, a single wire is placed under the skin on the front of the chest; this wire is then connected to an ICD that is located under the skin on the side of the chest. According to Mitch Faddis, MD, chief of electrophysiology at the Washington University and Barnes-Jewish Heart & Vascular Center, any patient that requires an ICD who does not also require pacemaker therapy for a slow pulse is a candidate for the S-ICD.

"This is a significant leap forward for patients because it bypasses all of the problems associated with running a wire through a blood vessel into the inside of the heart," said Dr. Faddis. "There is also a growing awareness that shocks from wires within the heart can damage the heart to some degree. This does not appear to occur when the shock is delivered outside of the heart by the S-ICD system."

Washington University physicians at Barnes-Jewish Hospital have been implanting ICDs since 1995 and implant about 300 per year, al
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