September 03, 2003

ICDs, The Next Generation

The San Jose Mercury News has a very interesting article on ICDs and pacemakers today. An ICD (Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillater) is what I got in April of 2002. I'm still very fortunate that my ICD hasn't gone off (it's set to deliver a strong electric shock if my heart stops beating or if it's beating out of control). The technology is moving so fast that even my year-old device is old school. The article tells the story of one patient who has upgraded his ICD/pacemaker 4 times since 2001. Since mine is working just fine and I haven't needed to "use" it, I'm sure I won't be upgrading anytime soon. The battery lifetime is projected to be 7-8 years at which point I'll need a new one. By that time they'll probably be the size of a matchbook (mine is the size of a small pager).

The article says:
A smaller, lighter, more precisely targeted model was approved March 28. Luther's doctor at Stanford, Dr. Sung Chun, implanted it in April.

And that's the same Dr. Chun who is monitoring my ICD as well!

Read the article. It's very interesting.

Posted by Shelby at September 3, 2003 04:52 PM

That's a fascinating article. What especially impressed me was how an ICD could potentially be a substitute for a heart transplant.

Posted by: Peggy at September 5, 2003 08:06 AM
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