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Media Release

Contact: Serena Smith
Office: 419-469-3890
Cell: 419-262-0371

ProMedica First in Region to Offer New Type of Defibrillator for Patients at Risk for Sudden Cardiac Arrest

posted on: 07/08/2014

TOLEDO, Ohio, June 20, 2014 – If you’ve had a heart attack or have a condition that puts you at risk of having a heart attack, you may feel like you’re walking around with a ticking time bomb in your chest.

For years, defibrillators implanted in the heart have monitored a patient’s heart rhythm and delivered an electric shock to restore a normal rhythm when the heart begins to beat dangerously fast or chaotically.

Now a new cardiac defibrillator that is implanted under the skin of patients offered first in northwest Ohio by ProMedica provides protection from sudden cardiac arrest without touching the heart.

“The subcutaneous implantable cardioverter defibrillator, or S-ICD, is a safer option in certain patients at risk of cardiac arrest,” said Johan Aasbo, DO, FACC, FHRS, ProMedica Physicians Cardiology. “It reduces the risk of bleeding, blood clots and bloodstream infections as well as lowers the risk of complications if the device needs to be removed.”

Unlike other implantable defibrillators, the S-ICD has a wire called a lead that is implanted just under the skin along the bottom of the rib cage and breast bone. The battery is placed on the side of the chest under the arm pit. Doctors can implant the device without going through blood vessels or entering the heart.

Typically the lead of a defibrillator will need to be replaced after 10 or 20 years. Removing the lead of a defibrillator that was implanted in the heart carries a small risk of perforating or tearing the heart wall. Also, if that lead becomes infected, it can be life threatening. Those risks are not present with the S-ICD.

The S-ICD may be a viable option for patients who have survived cardiac arrest or have cardiac arrest risk factors such as heart failure, genetic heart rhythm abnormalities, structural heart disease and cardiomyopathy. It cannot be implanted in patients who need a pacemaker or pacing therapy.

The S-ICD has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and is covered by Medicare.

For more information about ProMedica, visit www.promedica.org.

Media Availability
When: Wednesday, June 25
10:30 a.m.
Where: ProMedica Toledo Hospital
2142 N. Cove Blvd., Toledo
(The media can meet Serena at Entrance #1 at 10:20 a.m.)
Details: Interviews are available with Johan Aasbo, DO, FACC, FHRS, ProMedica Physicians, and a patient. (Phone interviews may also be accommodated, by request.)


About ProMedica
Toledo, Ohio-based ProMedica is a mission-based, not-for-profit healthcare organization formed in 1986. ProMedica has more than 15,000 employees and nearly 1,900 physicians with more than 600 healthcare providers employed by ProMedica Physicians. Its 12 hospitals and more than 300 facilities offer comprehensive diagnostic, medical and surgical specialties in heart and vascular, oncology, orthopaedics, neurology, and women and pediatric services. ProMedica’s mission is to improve health and well-being, with a strong focus on wellness and clinical excellence, as well as innovative, community advocacy programs that address health-related issues such as hunger and obesity. For more information, please visit www.promedica.org.