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Large Number of Defibrillator Implants Not Recommended

A study appearing in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that as many as one in five patients (22%) have needlessly had heart implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICDs) implanted against national guidelines. As a result, patients who needlessly received the implants had a considerably higher risk of experiencing complications; even resulting in in-hospital death. And these procedures are costly, unnecessarily wasting thousands of dollars in medical funds.

ICDs are usually implanted in patients with advanced heart failure in an effort to restore normal rhythm to the heart when it beats irregularly. Researchers have yet to find any advantage in implanting these devices in patients who have had a heart attack or who have undergone bypass surgery. Accordingly, national guidelines do not advise implanting defibrillators in patients who have been diagnosed with heart failure or who have short life expectancies.

Dr. Sana Al-Khatib of Duke Universities School of Medicine, the lead author of the study, alleges that some of the implants may have been appropriate; but a lot more were performed in spite of the research evidence. “It’s lack of knowledge. It’s ignorance. It’s not keeping track of the guidelines,” she explained to “And we may have some physicians who don’t agree with the guidelines or don’t think the guidelines apply to patients,” she continued.

Attorney Robert J. Fleming has been handling wrongful death cases, automobile accident cases, personal injury cases, dental malpractice and medical malpractice lawsuits for individuals and families who have been harmed, injured or died as a result of the carelessness or negligence of another for more than 20 years in and around Atlanta, Georgia and its surrounding areas, including Alpharetta, Austell, Avondale Estates, Chamblee, College Park, Conyers, Duluth, Decatur, Doraville, Hapeville, Johns Creek, Jonesboro, Lawrenceville, Norcross, Peachtree City, Riverdale, Roswell, Sandy Springs, Stone Mountain, and Smyrna. If you have been seriously injured and would like quality legal representation, contact Robert J. Fleming directly on (404) 525-5150 or contact us online.

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