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Cardiac devices "do not worsen quality of life"

Cardiac devices
21st November 2007

New research has shown that a commonly-used heart device does not worsen the quality of a patient's life.

Implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs) sense when the heart is beating too fast or erratically and provide a potentially life saving shock to correct it.

Over a 36-month study there were no detectable differences in quality of life between patients treated with ICDs and those undergoing standard medical therapy.

Dr Rod Passman, from Northwestern University in Chicago, who conducted the research, told Reuters: "As we put ICDs in larger number of patients for we need to make sure we aren't causing a decrease in the quality of life as we attempt to prolong the duration of life.

"This study confirms that, in fact, most patients accept device implantation without difficulty and live their lives in a normal manner."

Dr Passman continued to state that doctors are aware that multiple shocks can be dangerous for the patient.

ICDs are most commonly used for people who have suffered a cardiac arrest and are at risk of having another, according to the British Heart Foundation.

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