Defibrillator Malfunctions on the Rise

According to a study published in The Journal of the American Medical Association, malfunctions in implantable cardioverter defibrillators, or ICDs, are on the rise. The device is designed to keep the heart pumping properly and efficiently.

Between 1990 and 2002, a total of 2.25 million pacemakers and 415,780 ICDs were implanted in the U.S. Of the implanted pacemakers, 8,834 (4.6 per 1,000) were eventually “explanted,” or surgically removed, due to device malfunction before they were replaced. For the ICDs, 8,489 (20.7 per 1,000) were removed and replaced for the same reason.