Defibrillator Patients Face Tough Choices

The recent news that Guidant defibrillators may malfunction during life critical moments has given heart patients pause. The highest rate of malfunction among Guidant machines is the Ventak Prizm 2 DR (Model 1861)with 28 reports of short-circuiting including one resulting in death. According to a story in today’s Wall St. Journal, physician reaction is mixed. The WSJ reported that prominent Indiana cardiologist Douglas Zipes believes it’s a matter of conscience. “I put the implanted defibrillator in the patient because the patient is at risk of sudden death. How can I in good conscience then not replace the device?” At this point, it’s important to check with your cardiologist if you have one of these implanted devices. Also, keep monitoring my blog for the latest updates.