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About 30 years ago, doctors started putting implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs) in patients who had survived a sudden cardiac arrest.
Ed Ward, a retiree living in Twisp, Washington, is the Pacific Northwest’s first recipient of a collar-like device implanted in the heart to improve its pumping efficiency.
In a study of nearly 6,000 patients with chronic kidney disease and heart failure, the use of implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs) was associated with a significantly increased risk of subsequent hospitalization.
In the 1980s, cardiologists recognized that patients with heart failure – a poor quality of blood-pumping that can persist for years – were also more likely to die suddenly of cardiac arrest.
Heart failure is a common problem, especially among older Americans. It occurs when the heart cannot pump blood well enough to meet the body’s needs.