St. E’s Among First to Implant New Heart Device

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio -- Humility of Mary Health Partners is among the first health-care providers in the country to implant a revolutionary new cardiac defibrillator under the skin of patients at risk for sudden cardiac arrest, the health system announced today.

The new device, called an S-ICD, was developed by Cameron Health/Boston Scientific and is the world’s first commercially available subcutaneous implantable defibrillator.

Allan L. Katz,  a cardiac electrophysiologist with Humility of Mary Health Partners Physician Associates, implanted the first S-ICD in a patient at St. Elizabeth on Feb. 17.  Since then, Katz and his partner, Dr. Lee Gemma, have repeated the procedure several times, implanting the S-ICD in more than six other patients. All of these procedures were completed at St. Elizabeth Health Center.

“The benefit of the S-ICD over the traditional transvenous implantable cardioverter defibrillators is that there are no leads placed inside the heart," Katz explains. "With traditional transvenous defibrillators, leads placed inside the heart pose a greater risk of systemic infection. The S-ICD also eliminates the potential for vascular injury, preserves venous access, and avoids potential complications associated with endovascular lead implantation or extraction.”

Katz says “the S-ICD is effective for a majority of primary and secondary prevention ICD candidates -- patients at a higher risk for infection, patients with venous access issues, and patients with hereditary cardiomyopathies.”

Cardiomyopathies are chronic disorders of the heart.

From a cosmetic perspective, Katz says patients like the S-ICD because it is implanted in the left axilla -- on the side of the body under the arm -- as opposed to the upper part of the chest. This implantation site tends to make the ICD less visible.

Sudden cardiac arrest is an abrupt loss of heart function often caused by rapid or chaotic activity of the heart known as ventricular tachycardia or ventricular fibrillation. Some 850,000 Americans are at risk of sudden cardiac arrest.

SOURCE: Humility of Mary Health Partners

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.
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