The Electrophysiology Lab at Eisenhower Smilow Heart Center is committed to fighting this deadly condition and incorporates the latest technologies in implantable cardioverter-defibrillators, or ICDs, which have recently proven to be an effective guard against Sudden Cardiac Death.These stopwatch-sized devices monitor heart rates and send electronic shock waves to the heart whenever there’s a fast heart rate or a lethal heart rhythm.
On March 8, 2004, a landmark study known as the SCD-HeFT Sudden Cardiac Death in Heart Failure Trial), showed that ICDs reduced death by 23 percent in people with moderate heart failure and poor heart pumping function. Patients who have experienced heart failure are at greater risk of going into lethal heart rhythm.
In the past, the only patients who received defibrillators where those who had had an episode of Sudden Cardiac Collapse,” says Andrew M. Rubin, MD, Director of the Electrophysiology Lab at the Eisenhower Smilow Heart Center. “Now we consider anyone who has moderate-to-severe heart muscle weakness from any etiology as a potential candidate for an ICD.”
Earlier this year, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced that it would be expanding Medicare coverage of implantable cardioverter-defibrillators to include patients with heart failure and poor pumping function. Last year, approximately 180 Eisenhower Smilow Heart Center patients received an ICD.