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SJMOH Among First in MI to Offer Defibrillator Not Implanted in Heart for Sudden Cardiac Arrest

St. John Macomb-Oakland Hospital
Cardiac Care
Monday, March 10, 2014


SJMOH Among First in MI to Offer Defibrillator Not Implanted in Heart for Sudden Cardiac Arrest

Media Contact: Brian Taylor, 586-753-0726.

Warren- St. John Macomb-Oakland Hospital is one of the first hospitals in Michigan to implant a cardiac defibrillator that eliminates the need for wires to be placed in the heart. The first patient, a 61 year old Livonia man, was treated on February 24 and went home the next day.

The device, known as the Boston Scientific S-ICD® System, is the world's first and only commercially available subcutaneous implantable defibrillator for the treatment of patients at risk for sudden cardiac arrest.

The S-ICD System is designed to provide the same protection from sudden cardiac arrest as traditional implantable cardioverter defibrillators. However, the S-ICD System sits just below the skin without the need for thin, insulated wires – known as leads – to be placed into the heart itself. This leaves the heart and blood vessels untouched, providing a new exciting solution for both physicians and patients. ICDs are devices similar to pacemakers, which are designed to send an electric shock to the heart to restore its normal rhythm. The lead delivers the shock from the defibrillator to the heart.

Sudden cardiac arrest is an abrupt loss of heart function. Most episodes are caused by the rapid and/or chaotic activity of the heart known as ventricular tachycardia or ventricular fibrillation. Recent estimates show that approximately 850,000 people in the United States are at risk of SCA and indicated for an ICD device, but remain unprotected.

“This device could dramatically change the way we care for many arrhythmia patients that are at risk for sudden cardiac arrest,” according to Sohail Hassan, M.D., director of electrophysiology at SJMOH and St. John Hospital and Medical Center in Detroit. “Because we able to avoid placing leads directly into the heart, we can potentially eliminate the complications that posed by that procedure, such as infection and injury to veins.”

The S-ICD System has two main components: the pulse generator, which powers the system, monitors heart activity, and delivers a shock if needed; and the electrode, which enables the device to sense the cardiac rhythm and serves as a pathway for shock delivery when necessary. Both components are implanted just under the skin—the generator at the side of the chest, and the electrode beside the breastbone.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted regulatory approval for the S-ICD System in September of 2012. To date, more than 2,000 devices have been implanted in patients around the world.

St. John Macomb-Oakland Hospital is a member of St. John Providence Health and the St. John Providence Health Heart & Vascular Center of Excellence, a leading provider of heart and vascular care in Michigan. SJH&MC is a nationally recognized leader in cardiovascular care.

Boston Scientific S-ICD® System    Boston Scientific S-ICD® System