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Just-Approved Defibrillators Limit Unnecessary Shocks

Just-Approved Defibrillators Limit Unnecessary Shocks

03/29/11

TUESDAY, March 29 (HealthDay News) -- Defibrillator maker Medtronic says its new line of Protecta devices has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The devices incorporate "Smart Shock" technology that recognizes when irregular heartbeats are life-threatening and delivers therapeutic shocks "only when appropriate," Medtronic said in a news release.

Implanted defibrillators are designed to shock an irregularly beating heart (ventricular arrhythmia) back into a normal rhythm. However, sometimes the devices sense a non-life-threatening arrhythmia or electrical noise and produce an "inappropriate shock," Medtronic said.

As many as one in five people with implantable defibrillators experiences inappropriate shocks, Medtronic said, adding its studies concluded that 98 percent of people with the Protecta devices were free of inappropriate shocks a year after implant.

Shipments of the new devices will begin immediately, said Medtronic, based in Minneapolis.

More information

To learn more about this type of device, visit the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

Copyright © 2011 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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