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ICDs Are Primary Defense Against Sudden Cardiac Death
A literature review by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) strongly supports the use of implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs) as primary prevention of sudden cardiac death (SCD) over non-ICD therapy.
The review is based on the outcomes of seven randomized, controlled trials that showed a "high strength of evidence" that ICD reduces all-cause mortality and SCD. The review is meant to be used by health plans, patients, providers, and purchasers to develop clinical practice guidelines and other quality enhancement tools.
"What the AHRQ review proves is that ICDs are an effective, patient-centered therapy to prevent sudden cardiac death (SCD) and for treating heart failure, while reducing unnecessary hospitalizations," said Lawrence Kanner, MD, FACC, director of Electrophysiology and Arrhythmia Services at South Nassau.
The review showed that the number of patients needed to treat to prevent one death ranged from 6.2 to 22 after 3 to 7 years of follow-up. It also reported that in-hospital adverse events caused by ICDs were infrequent (1-3%) and 20% of patients receive an inappropriate shock in 1 to 5 years of follow-up.
Each year, SCD claims the lives of up to 460,000 people in the U.S. alone, and more people die from SCD than from lung cancer, breast cancer and AIDS combined. Nearly 22 million people worldwide currently suffer from heart failure, a debilitating condition in which the heart weakens and gradually loses the ability to pump blood effectively. Approximately one million new cases of heart failure are diagnosed annually worldwide, making it the most rapidly growing cardiovascular disorder.
Dr. Kanner and South Nassau’s Center for Cardiovascular Health have been in the forefront in providing heart failure patients on Long Island with the latest advancements in ICD devices and electrophysiology services.
Dr. Kanner was the first on Long Island to implant the Viva® cardiac resynchronization therapy with defibrillation (CRT-D); Incepta® ICD (recognized as the world’s smallest and thinnest ICD); Evia® pacemaker (which incorporates wireless monitoring system that immediately notifies the patient’s physician if the patient or the pacemaker is experiencing complications) and Revo MRI™ SureScan® pacing system (the first pacemaker in the U.S. specifically designed for use in a MRI environment)
In addition to ICDs, Dr. Kanner and electrophysiologists at South Nassau’s Center for Cardiovascular Health use an array of advanced technologies to provide timely, accurate diagnoses and therapies to treat the range of cardiac arrhythmias (abnormal heart rhythms) and defibrillator maintenance. Services include diagnostic studies, implantation and testing of pacemakers, and radiofrequency catheter ablation for the treatment of potentially fatal irregular heartbeats.
South Nassau Communities Hospital is a recipient of the American College of Cardiology (ACC) Foundation’s National Cardiology Data Registry (NCDR) ACTION Registry–Get With the Guidelines (GWTG) Silver Performance Achievement Award. The GWTG program is a quality-improvement program that helps hospitals provide cardiac and stroke care in accordance with the most up-to-date guidelines and recommendations. Hospitals that continually meet or exceed the nationally accepted standards, or guidelines, improve their quality patient care by turning guidelines into “lifelines”. Upon meeting specific criteria, hospitals are recognized for performance achievement if at least 85 percent of their cardiac or stroke patients are treated and discharged according to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s guidelines and recommendations.