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DMC Cardiovascular Institute First in Midwest to Implant New "Protecta" Defibrillator in a Cardiac Patient
Date:4/5/2011

DETROIT, April 5, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Detroit Medical Center (DMC) Cardiovascular Institute (CVI) announced today that it has achieved a significant breakthrough in cardiac heart-care by implanting the newly available "Protecta" defibrillator in a heart-care patient.

The successful procedure, which took place at the DMC March 30, marked the first time that the innovative Protecta device has been implanted in a cardiac patient anywhere in the Midwest.        

The Protecta defibrillator, approved for clinical use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) only eight days ago, is designed to greatly reduce the inappropriate electrical shocks that can occur with traditional defibrillators – often in situations where patients are located near electrical currents or electrical equipment.

According to recent medical research, more than 20 percent of heart-care patients who are outfitted with defibrillators experience such inappropriate shocks at times.  But the new high-tech Protecta was specially designed to virtually eliminate such unwanted electrical impulses in most patients.

Implanted defibrillators are a vital necessity for many heart-care patients who struggle with arrhythmias, since these irregular heartbeats – caused by interruptions in normal electrical heart-signaling – can trigger sudden cardiac death in severe cases.  (More than 350,000 Americans die from these sudden heart attacks each year.)  In the past, however, even the most effective defibrillators often subjected their owners to inappropriate shocks that can interfere with the defibrillation process.

But the successful implantation of the new Protecta at CVI now means that patients who require a defibrillator in order to guard against arrhythmia can also be protected against such accidental shocks.          

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"For patients with heartbeat issues that require an implanted defibrillator, this new technology is an important breakthrough," said Randy A. Lieberman, M.D., the Director of Electrophysiology at CVI.  "Our goal at CVI is to keep improving the quality of life for those who need implanted defibrillators, and this pioneering device is a major step on the road to accomplishing that.

"This is a proven technology, FDA-approved, that's been shown to be very effective at eliminating unnecessary shocks.  It's also brand-new – and we were very pleased to learn that we were the first heart-care facility in the entire Midwest to make it available to patents.

"At CVI, we're determined to provide cardiac patients with the very latest heart-care technology.  We want to prolong life with these exciting new tools, that's true – but we also want to improve the quality of life at the same time.  The new Protecta implantable defibrillator is an important step in accomplishing both of those goals."

Dr. Lieberman, who conducted the successful Protecta implantation at DMC Harper University Hospital's Cardiovascular Institute last week, also noted that CVI was recently the first heart-care facility in Michigan to accomplish a transcatheter aortic valve implant, back in February.  That ground-breaking procedure was led by CVI President Theodore L. Schreiber, M.D. and Dr. Ali Kafi, chief of clinical cardio-thoracic surgery at DMC Harper University Hospital.  They were accompanied by a multidisciplinary team of DMC physicians, nurses, research team and technologists.

Describing the recent breakthrough implantation of the Protecta defibrillator, Dr. Schreiber said, "This is certainly a significant treatment advance for patients who need an implanted defibrillator, and it's a very encouraging step forward in helping improve their quality of life."

Added Dr. Schreiber, who was a pioneer in developing the stent procedure for relieving blocked carotid arteries and who currently performs about 1,500 heart and vascular procedures per year at the DMC:  "We're very determined at CVI to bring patients the very latest, cutting-edge heart-care technologies, and it's gratifying to know that we're now able to make Protecta available to any patient who might benefit from it."

Physicians are available for interviews.

For more information, visit www.DMCCVI.org.

About Detroit Medical Center www.dmc.org

The Detroit Medical Center operates nine hospitals and institutes, including Children's Hospital of Michigan, Detroit Receiving Hospital, Harper University Hospital, Huron Valley-Sinai Hospital, Hutzel Women's Hospital, Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan, Sinai-Grace Hospital, DMC Surgery Hospital, and DMC Cardiovascular Institute. The Detroit Medical Center is a leading regional healthcare system with a mission of excellence in clinical care, research and medical education.


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