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Defective Defibrillators

The cardiac devices which are used to shock the heart back to normal are found not to be working just when you need them. One out of five fails to work after just ten years. On research it was found that the wires that connect are at default.

The wire or the lead sometimes shocked the heart unnecessary or sometimes failed to work when heart is beating abnormally or completely stopped.

Many a times it causes more anxiety to the patient or there is an increased cost to repair or remove the device and many a times it can cause death. It is a big problem for many who are walking around with the defibrillators in them.

The compositions of the wires were changed in 1997. But even then these defibrillators have shown a sharp decline of about 20% in the past decade. The failure of the device was a major public health concern.

It's a very serious problem, because if the leads [wires] have defects, they have to be changed or the device cannot terminate fibrillation," said study author Dr. Thomas Kleeman, a clinical electrophysiologist at Herzzentrum Ludwigshafen. "Surgery to change them is not so easy," he added.

The failure appears to be more common in women, younger people and those whose left ventricle was healthier when the device was implanted. It is a simple case wear and tear after many years of usage.

The most common complication, responsible for 56 percent of lead defects, rose from insulation problems. Others included fractured wires, electrical circuit problems, and sensors.

The study is a reminder that eternal vigilance is needed in medicine, especially for devices on which life depends, said Dr. Kenneth A. Ellenbogen, director of the department of electrophysiology at Virginia Commonwealth University, and a spokesman for the American Heart Association.


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