New developments in St Jude Medical’s Riata lead failure

There is a big story out today in the small world of electrophysiology. I’ll try to give it a non-technical wide-angle view. My friend and fellow real world doctor, Dr. Jay Schloss from Cincinnati is at it again. Jay conitunes on his quest to give doctors and patients the most useable information possible on the […]

ICD recalls, Social Media and Preventing Heart Disease

I can’t possible write two posts tonight. Therefore, please consider this Cycling Wed post a mosaic. (I like that word, don’t you? Give me a break smarties.) Seriously… Today, my friend and fellow heart rhythm doctor Jay Schloss (Cincinnati) published this meticulous and well-balanced essay concerning the recent recall of St Jude Medical’s Riata defibrillator […]

Two messages taught by recent cardiac device recalls

Cardiac devices were in the news today. And you guessed it; the reports centered on problems. In this case the story includes dramatic visuals. The St Jude defibrillator wire, Riata, a commonly-used wire has been ‘recalled’ by the FDA because of electrical failures in at least 10% of cases. The dramatic part here includes the […]

A new ‘message’ on expensive medical devices: The ICD as an example

Nearly six months have passed since “emergency” meetings were called. Gosh, if I had a dollar for every emergency meeting. It’s amazing how looking back at these crises makes our angst seem silly. Like many things medical, time and deep breaths have a way of sorting things out. The latest heart-rhythm crisis centered on the […]

“It’s just a generator change”

Cardiac devices are battery powered.  Like your TV remote, they require change–every 5-10 years or so. No worries…”it’s just a generator change” is a phrase one hears frequently in the cath lab. They are supposed to be easy cases. But they are not always.  And here is more recent evidence that the simple pacemaker/defibrillator replacement […]

Double counting…

The implantable cardiac defibrillator (ICD) is a life saving therapy. But, like any medical treatment there are potential adverse effects. With ICDs, we are trying to prevent this…(a slide from the 1980s) But in doing so we sometimes get this… Which is supposed to look like this…(same patient–hours later, with no intervention) ICDs have been […]

Clinical decision making 301: The Sprint Fidelis ICD lead…

The implantable defibrillator (ICD) is an amazing life-saving device.  When used in the appropriate patient, the scientific data supporting its benefit is rock solid. The sudden death-averting appropriate ICD shock in the middle of the night, allows the patient to enjoy breakfast with his spouse, rather than admission to the morgue. ICD function seems simple: […]

ICDs are not insurance policies…

Although this study did not make headlines, its findings jumped off the page of the 566 page supplement listing all of HeartRhythm 2010’s abstracts.  The presentation, from a Harvard group, revealed more sobering news on the risks of ICD implantation.  Enlightenment on ICD complications was hidden away in this study that primarily looked at something […]