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Complication Associated With Heart Defibrillators

A small but significant number of patients suffered from complication after having a defibrillator implant to control heart rhythm.//

About 4% were found to suffer from moderate to severe complications associated with defibrillator implants. The New York Times analysed the data supplied by the federal government and reported the complications. The most frequent type of complications associated with the procedure is blood clots and displacement of a cable that connects the device to the heart.

The New York Times studied for a period of 16-month period from the data obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request. The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services also planned to publish the data on its Web site without identifying the doctors involved in the procedures for legal and policy reasons. But the New York Times also states that if the agency decides not publish the data about the doctors then it is equivalent to preventing patient access to information that shows how complication rates differ among doctors and hospitals.


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