American Morning

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January 5th, 2011
08:28 AM ET

Unnecessary heart implants?

(CNN) – More than 20 % of patients who received an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator - a high-tech device that produces electrical impulses to regulate heartbeats and prevent life-threatening arrhythmias - in recent years were not good candidates to receive the device, a new study suggests.

Researchers at Duke University looked at more than 111,000 patients who received ICD implants between 2006 and 2009. More than 25,000 of those patients did not meet evidence-based criteria for receiving the device, according to the study.

The risk of dying in the hospital was significantly higher for patients who received the ICD but did not meet the criteria, and 1 out of 121 patients in this category experienced complications following the implant, the study found.

The study also states that as many as one out of five of these surgeries should have never happened. So why did they?

Today on American Morning, Dr. Robert Michler, director of the Montefiore-Einstein Heart Center in New York  explains.


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