[an error occurred while processing this directive] Defibrillators and Heart Attacks
Defibrillators and Heart Attacks

Defibrillators and Heart Attacks

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Heart attacks, or acute myocardial infarction, occur when blood cannot reach the heart reach the heart to provide it with oxygen it needs to survive. As the heart muscle is deprived of oxygen, it begins to die, which can sometime produce an arrhythmia, or an irregular heartbeat. Arrhythmias can lead to fibrillation, a type of chaotic convulsing of the heart muscle that interrupts blood flow and can lead to death in a matter of moments.

When an Implanted Cardiac Defibrillator detects an arrhythmia, it sends an electrical current down a wire inside the heart. This shock is hopefully enough to “reset” the synchronization of the heart into a regular rhythm, restoring circulation to vital organs. Without this artificial “jumpstart” the heart can die within minutes, but each second the brain is starved for oxygen represents serious brain damage and eventual death.

Unfortunately, some Guidant ICDs have defective wiring that can lead to a short circuit in their control devices which prevents them from detecting and delivering the necessary shock. This is potentially fatal for people at risk for heart attacks that depend on the ICD to keep them alive. Compounding this situation is Guidant knew about the defect long before they decided to make it public, endangering the lives of tens of thousands of people. If you or someone you know has a Guidant made ICD, contact your doctor immediately.


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