First FDA approved subcutaneous implantable defibrillator available for patients

October 25, 2012

Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is a condition in which the heart suddenly stops pumping blood. When this occurs, blood stops flowing to the brain and other major organs. Recent estimates show that approximately 850,000 people in the United States are at risk of SCA, and most of the people who have SCA, die from it. But, rapid treatment of SCA by using an implantable defibrillator can be lifesaving.

On September 28th, 2012, the FDA approved the world's first totally subcutaneous implantable defibrillator (S-ICD). Northwestern's Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute is one of the first 20 institutions in the country to have access to this technology. Since FDA approval, the Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute is one of the first ten places to implant in the U.S.

"The S-ICD system provides physicians with a new treatment option for patients who are at risk of ," said Bradley Knight, MD, electrophysiologist and medical director of the Center for . "The system sits entirely below the skin without requiring the need for placing wires in the heart, which leaves the heart and blood vessels untouched."

The Boston Scientific S-ICD® System has two main components. One is called the pulse generator, which powers the system, monitors and delivers a shock if needed. The other main component is the electrode. This enables the device to sense the heart rhythm and deliver shocks when necessary. Both are implanted just under the skin, providing protection without touching the heart and reliable without transvenous wires.

"Patients who previously could not undergo the implantation of a transvenous defibrillator, now have a device option to protect them from deadly arrhythmias," said Dr. Knight.

The S-ICD system is commercially available in many countries in Europe as well as New Zealand. More than 1,400 devices have been implanted in patients around the world.

Explore further: Innovative new defibrillator offers alternative for regulating heart beat

Related Stories

US approves less-invasive heart defibrillator

September 29, 2012

(AP)—The U.S. Food and Drug Administration says it has approved a first-of-a-kind heart-zapping implant from Boston Scientific that that does not directly touch the heart.

Recommended for you

Laser-based camera improves view of the carotid artery

February 10, 2017

Strokes and heart attacks often strike without warning. But, a unique application of a medical camera could one day help physicians know who is at risk for a cardiovascular event by providing a better view of potential problem ...

Matters of the heart: Researchers create 3-D beating heart

February 9, 2017

Matters of the heart can be complicated, but York University scientists have found a way to create 3D heart tissue that beats in synchronized harmony, like a heart in love, that will lead to better understanding of cardiac ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.