(ROTTERDAM, Netherlands) -- Implantable heart defibrillators save lives, but there are risks associated with them. A new type of defibrillator that's less invasive, however, may help reduce some of those risks without compromising efficiency.
Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillators, or ICDs, work by detecting and correcting abnormal heart rhythms that can lead to heart attack or death. The sensor part of the defibrillator is placed directly in the heart. Serious problems could develop if it breaks, gets dislodged or causes an infection.
But the new ICD, or S-ICD, is implanted just under the skin instead of the heart.
According to a report presented at an international meeting of the Heart Rhythm Society, the new device performed with 100-percent accuracy.
Researchers in the Netherlands studied 98 patients over a nine-month period. The ICD under the skin never failed to detect and correct abnormal heart rhythms during the trial.
The new ICD is already in use in Europe, but not in the United States. If approved by the FDA, the device could have a profound impact on heart patients, especially in cases where several members of a single family suffer congenital heart conditions.
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