New Defibrillators Keep 5 Family Members From Cardiac Arrest

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Study Finds Less Invasive Defibrillator

In the presented study, researchers in the Netherlands implanted the device in 98 patients and found that the S-ICD system was 100 percent effective in correcting artificially-induced heart arrhythmias. Sudden death did not occur in any patients during the nine-month follow-up period.

The researchers concluded that "in our experience, the S-ICD system is a viable alternative to conventional ICD systems for selected patients."

According to the American Heart Association, sudden cardiac arrest affects about 300,000 Americans each year. Brain death and permanent death occur within four to six minutes after cardiac arrest occurs so it is crucial to correct any sort of heart malfunction quickly.

"We all decided on the device because it's a lot less complicated, and it was a simple procedure," said Miceli. "If I tell my kids and grandkids to get this done, then I was going to get it done, too. We're all in this together."

In January, Miceli's 22-year-old cousin, Matthew, was the first to have the device implanted. Her two children had the surgery soon after.

"I wanted to make sure they were taken care of and make sure they did it before I got it done," said Miceli, who had the S-ICD put in two weeks ago.

Knight said the device is currently in the experimental phase, though he is hopeful that it will win FDA approval in the future.

As for helping the Miceli family with the device, Knight said it was a "good feeling."

"There's the burden of taking care of four family members who all have the same experimental device," he said. But he added that he is "cautiously optimistic" and that he and his team will keep track of the family to see how they do with the cutting edge devices.

Miceli, for one, said she feels the experimental device was the right choice for her and her family.

"I love life, and I want to see my grandkids grow older, and I thought this was the best way to go," she said.

"Having Long QT and then getting this device is like a seatbelt in the car, it's feels like our safety net."

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