Tuesday, January 11, 2011
by: Katharine Greider | from: AARP Bulletin
New research indicates that more than 20 percent of all heart defibrillators are surgically implanted in patients who may not be good candidates for the devices — leaving men and women who have these machines in a quandary as they may face dangerous health risks.
The research, led by Duke University heart specialist Sana M. Al-Khatib, M.D., found that patients who received a defibrillator but whose heart condition didn't match recommended criteria were more likely to die or suffer from a complication in the hospital.
What do you do if you've been implanted with a defibrillator? And if you're told you need one, how can you tell whether the advice is solid?
Here are the facts heart patients may want to consider — along with the guidelines that list which heart patients shouldn't get a defibrillator.