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Heart Devices 101: Guide to the Tools That Keep You Ticking

Posted 3 Apr 2017 by Drugs.com

SUNDAY, April 2, 2017 – Pacemakers, defibrillators and other medical devices have saved the lives of millions of people worldwide. Someone you know probably has received one of these heart-health enhancers, although not all have become household words. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration evaluates and regulates these and other medical devices in the United States. Below, the agency provides a brief glossary of terms that might come in handy when a doctor recommends a cardiac tool: Heart pacemakers: These small, battery-powered devices are implanted in the body. They deliver an electric shock to restore normal heart rhythm when the heart beats too slowly. Implantable cardioverter defibrillators: These deliver a shock to restore normal heart rhythm when the heart beats too fast. Automated external defibrillators: These portable, automatic devices are found in many public locations. ... Read more

Related support groups: Atrial Fibrillation, Heart Disease, Heart Attack, Arrhythmia, Heart Failure, Congestive Heart Failure, Angina, Tachyarrhythmia, Supraventricular Tachycardia, Prosthetic Heart Valves, Prevention of Thromboembolism in Atrial Fibrillation, Myocardial Infarction, Mitral Valve Prolapse, Cardiac Arrhythmia, Ventricular Tachycardia, Left Ventricular Dysfunction, Prosthetic Heart Valves - Mechanical Valves, Mitral Insufficiency, Coronary Artery Disease (CAD), Atrial Flutter

Implanted Defibrillators Benefit Seniors: Study

Posted 18 Jan 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 18, 2017 – Seniors who receive an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) have high survival rates, a new study finds. An ICD – which is placed under the skin and connected to the heart with wires – detects an irregular heartbeat and delivers an electrical shock to restore normal rhythm. In the study, researchers analyzed data from more than 12,400 Medicare patients, aged 65 and older, who received an ICD after sudden cardiac arrest or a nearly fatal fast heart rhythm. Nearly 80 percent of the patients survived two years after receiving the implanted device, according to the study published Jan. 16 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. More than 65 percent of the patients were hospitalized during the two years after receiving an ICD. Rates ranged from 60.5 percent among those younger than age 70 to 71.5 percent among those 80 and older. About 13 ... Read more

Related support groups: Atrial Fibrillation, Arrhythmia, Tachyarrhythmia, Cardiac Arrhythmia, Ventricular Tachycardia, Atrial Flutter, Ventricular Arrhythmia

Hi-Tech Skin Patch Might Someday Track Your Health

Posted 17 Nov 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Nov. 17, 2016 – A new type of acoustic sensor that resembles a small Band-Aid on the skin can monitor your heartbeat and other health measures, researchers say. The sensor may one day offer a way to painlessly and wirelessly track an individual's health. The patch, which weighs less than one-hundredth of an ounce, can help doctors monitor heart health, stomach condition, vocal cord activity, lung performance and potentially many other bodily functions, researchers say. "We've developed a soft, skin-like device that can listen to internal sounds created by function of internal organs," explained study co-author John Rogers. He was a professor of materials science and engineering and a professor of chemistry at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign during the study and is currently at Northwestern University. "Think of the device as a wearable, skin-mounted ... Read more

Related support groups: Atrial Fibrillation, Arrhythmia, Ventricular Tachycardia, Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction, Ventricular Fibrillation, Ventricular Arrhythmia, Diagnosis and Investigation, Sinus Node Dysfunction, Abnormal Electrocardiogram

Health Tip: What Could Trigger Heart Palpitations?

Posted 8 Nov 2016 by Drugs.com

-- Heart palpitations are irregular heartbeats that should be observed by a doctor without delay. The National Heart Lung and Blood Institute says triggers may include: Feeling strong emotions. Engaging in strenuous activity. Taking certain medications, including decongestants or diet pills. Taking illegal drugs or consuming nicotine, caffeine or alcohol. Having certain medical conditions, including anemia or thyroid disease. Read more

Related support groups: Atrial Fibrillation, Heart Disease, Arrhythmia, Tachyarrhythmia, Cardiac Arrhythmia, Ventricular Tachycardia, Atrial Flutter, Bradyarrhythmia, Ventricular Fibrillation, Ventricular Arrhythmia, Atrial Tachycardia

People With Implanted Defibrillators at Higher Car Accident Risk

Posted 29 Aug 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Aug. 29, 2016 – People who have an implanted cardiac defibrillator (ICD) to control an irregular heartbeat appear to have more car accidents than similarly aged people without such devices, a new Danish study finds. Overall, Danish drivers with ICDs were 51 percent more likely to be involved in a traffic accident over the two-and-a-half years of the study. But the findings aren't necessarily a reason to tighten restrictions on these drivers, since the absolute risk of any one ICD-using driver being involved in an accident remained very low – around 1 percent a year. The issue is a tough one, said study lead author Dr. Jenny Bjerre, a physician at Herlev and Gentofte University Hospital in Copenhagen. "On the one side, as physicians we need to take public road safety into consideration when we assess if these patients are medically fit to drive," she said. "But we also have to ... Read more

Related support groups: Arrhythmia, Tachyarrhythmia, Cardiac Arrhythmia, Ventricular Tachycardia, Bradyarrhythmia, Ventricular Fibrillation, Ventricular Arrhythmia, Atrial Tachycardia, Cardiothoracic Surgery

Too Many Public Defibrillators Out of Reach When Needed

Posted 15 Aug 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Aug. 15, 2016 – Automated external defibrillators (AEDs) placed in public spaces can save the lives of people in cardiac arrest. However, a new Canadian study finds too many of the devices are in buildings that aren't always open, so bystanders can't get them when needed. The study, "serves as a vivid reminder that 24/7/365 access to AEDs is as important as their widespread placement," said one specialist who reviewed the findings, Dr. Howard Levite. He directs cardiology at Staten Island University Hospital in New York City. More AEDs in public spaces, along with timely access, is imperative, he said, because "the potential to improve survival in cardiac arrest is an opportunity that cannot be ignored." Cardiac arrest differs from a heart attack, and occurs when the heart abruptly stops beating. According to the American College of Cardiology (ACC), over 400,000 cases of ... Read more

Related support groups: Atrial Fibrillation, Heart Attack, Arrhythmia, Myocardial Infarction, Cardiac Arrhythmia, Ventricular Tachycardia, Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease, Bradyarrhythmia, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction, Heart Block, Ventricular Arrhythmia, AV Heart Block, Myocardial Infarction - Prophylaxis, Post MI Syndrome

CPR Help as Near as Your Phone

Posted 4 May 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, May 4, 2016 – A stranger or someone you love suddenly collapses with cardiac arrest, but you don't know CPR. New research shows that help – and CPR instruction – may be just a cellphone call away. This is "a real-world approach that the majority of communities can adopt to help improve survival in out-of-hospital cardiac arrest," said one expert, emergency room physician Dr. Robert Glatter. The new study was led by Dr. Bentley Bobrow of the Arizona Department of Health Services in Phoenix. His team noted that fewer than half of Americans who suffer cardiac arrest in public places receive CPR – cardiopulmonary resuscitation – from bystanders, and survival rates are very low. When cardiac arrest strikes, "time is cardiac muscle," said Glatter, of Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. "The sooner we can initiate effective chest compressions and defibrillation ... the better ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Attack, Arrhythmia, Tachyarrhythmia, Myocardial Infarction, Cardiac Arrhythmia, Ventricular Tachycardia, Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease, Bradyarrhythmia, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction, Ventricular Arrhythmia, AV Heart Block, Atrial Tachycardia, Myocardial Infarction - Prophylaxis, Asystole, Post MI Syndrome

Study Ties Implanted Defibrillators to Long-Term Complications

Posted 3 May 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, May 2, 2016 – Implantable defibrillators – devices that detect and correct an abnormal heart rhythm – are associated with a high risk of long-term complications, a new study suggests. "An [implantable cardioverter-defibrillator] is a highly effective treatment option to reduce the risk of sudden cardiac death," said lead researcher Dr. Isuru Ranasinghe, a senior cardiologist at the University of Adelaide in South Australia. "However, there is a substantial and persistent risk of device-related complications and re-operations in the years after implantation." These complications include device malfunction, infection and inflammation, the study authors said. Ranasinghe said the rate of complications is higher than previously reported. "The continued occurrence of complications long after the initial implantation indicates the need for vigilance and ongoing surveillance of ... Read more

Related support groups: Atrial Fibrillation, Arrhythmia, Tachyarrhythmia, Supraventricular Tachycardia, Cardiac Arrhythmia, Ventricular Tachycardia, Atrial Flutter, Bradyarrhythmia, Ventricular Fibrillation, Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome, Ventricular Arrhythmia, AV Heart Block, Paroxysmal Supraventricular Tachycardia, Atrial Tachycardia, Paroxysmal Junctional Tachycardia

Death of Loved One May Trigger Heart Rhythm Trouble

Posted 6 Apr 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, April 6, 2016 – Losing your nearest and dearest may break your heart, literally. People are more likely to develop an irregular heartbeat following the death of their spouse or life partner, particularly if they're younger or the loved one died unexpectedly, a new study suggests. Risk of atrial fibrillation – a quivering or irregular heartbeat that can cause stroke and heart disease – was 41 percent higher among people mourning the death of their partner, compared to others who are not grieving, Danish researchers report. The study reinforces earlier research that has suggested a link between heart rhythm problems and emotional turmoil, said Dr. Mark Estes, director of the New England Cardiac Arrhythmia Center at Tufts Medical Center, in Boston. "Many patients describe that their atrial fibrillation gets worse at a time of emotional stress," Estes said. "This really ... Read more

Related support groups: Atrial Fibrillation, Arrhythmia, Tachyarrhythmia, Cardiac Arrhythmia, Ventricular Tachycardia, Atrial Flutter, Bradyarrhythmia, Ventricular Arrhythmia, Atrial Tachycardia

Wearable 'Defibrillator-in-a-Vest' May Help Some Heart Patients

Posted 29 Mar 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, March 28, 2016 – A vest containing a defibrillator may be an option for some heart patients who can't use an implantable defibrillator – the device that can shock the heart back to a proper rhythm if needed. That's the conclusion of the first science advisory on the devices just issued by the American Heart Association. The advisory, however, cautioned that there are still big gaps in knowledge about the devices and they should only be used as a short-term option for specific patients. "They serve an important niche, but there is relatively limited evidence about their effectiveness and safety," said the advisory's lead author, Dr. Jonathan Piccini, an associate professor of medicine at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C. "We need research and clinical trials to figure out which patient populations they should be applied to and what the relative benefit is," he ... Read more

Related support groups: Atrial Fibrillation, Heart Disease, Arrhythmia, Tachyarrhythmia, Supraventricular Tachycardia, Cardiac Arrhythmia, Ventricular Tachycardia, Bradyarrhythmia, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction, Ventricular Fibrillation, Ventricular Arrhythmia, Paroxysmal Supraventricular Tachycardia, Cardiovascular Conditions and Disorders, Atrial Tachycardia, Paroxysmal Junctional Tachycardia

Spare Dying Patients Electric Shocks From Heart Device, Docs Say

Posted 24 Mar 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, March 24, 2016 – Dying patients with an implantable heart defibrillator don't know the device can be turned off so that it doesn't give them painful shocks during their last days of life, researchers report. Implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs) are surgically implanted in people with certain heart conditions. They deliver a shock to restore normal heart rhythm when they detect a potentially deadly abnormal rhythm. Doctors are encouraged to inform patients with an implantable cardioverter defibrillator about the benefits of deactivating the device when they are near death. But research shows that up to 31 percent of people with an ICD receive shocks in their final days. Two new studies provide further proof that many doctors aren't following the Heart Rhythm Society and European Society of Cardiology recommendations. A Spanish study of 243 patients with implantable ... Read more

Related support groups: Arrhythmia, Tachyarrhythmia, Supraventricular Tachycardia, Cardiac Arrhythmia, Ventricular Tachycardia, Bradyarrhythmia, Ventricular Fibrillation, Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome, Ventricular Arrhythmia, AV Heart Block, Paroxysmal Supraventricular Tachycardia, Cardiovascular Conditions and Disorders, Atrial Tachycardia, Sinus Node Dysfunction, Premature Atrial Depolarizations, Paroxysmal Junctional Tachycardia, Premature Ventricular Depolarizations

Daily Caffeine Doesn't Seem to Jolt the Heart: Study

Posted 26 Jan 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Jan. 26, 2016 – There may be good news for coffee, tea and chocolate lovers: Regular caffeine consumption may not cause dangerous racing of the heart, a new study finds. The finding challenges current medical thinking, the study authors said. However, the health risks of heavy caffeine consumption requires additional research, the researchers added. "Clinical recommendations advising against the regular consumption of caffeinated products to prevent disturbances of the heart's cardiac rhythm should be reconsidered, as we may unnecessarily be discouraging consumption of items like chocolate, coffee and tea that might actually have cardiovascular benefits," said study senior author Dr. Gregory Marcus. He is director of clinical research in the division of cardiology at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). "Given our recent work demonstrating that extra heartbeats ... Read more

Related support groups: Atrial Fibrillation, Arrhythmia, Caffeine, Tachyarrhythmia, Fioricet, Excedrin, Supraventricular Tachycardia, Alert, Cardiac Arrhythmia, Ventricular Tachycardia, Fiorinal, Excedrin Migraine, Atrial Flutter, Cafergot, Bradyarrhythmia, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction, Esgic, Fiorinal with Codeine, Stay Awake, Keep Going

Implanted Defibrillators Help Women as Much as Men: Study

Posted 12 Jan 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Jan. 12, 2016 – Among people with heart failure, implanted defibrillators benefit women as much as men, a new study finds. Previous research has shown that implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs) help heart failure patients live longer. And current guidelines recommend that doctors consider adding the devices to standard treatment for all heart failure patients. However, women are less likely than men to receive an ICD, the study authors said. One reason may be that questions remained about whether the devices benefit women with heart failure. People with heart failure are at increased risk for heart rhythm problems. ICDs are placed under the skin of the chest and deliver an electric shock to restore normal heart rhythm when a potentially deadly abnormal rhythm is detected. The new study compared thousands of female and male heart failure patients with and without ICDs. ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Failure, Congestive Heart Failure, Tachyarrhythmia, Supraventricular Tachycardia, Ventricular Tachycardia, Left Ventricular Dysfunction, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction, Atrial Tachycardia, Cardiothoracic Surgery, Left Ventriculography

High 'Resting' Heart Rate Tied to Higher Odds of Early Death

Posted 23 Nov 2015 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Nov. 23, 2015 – A rapid "resting" heartbeat might mean you have a higher risk of dying early, researchers suggest. "Higher resting heart rate is an independent predictor of all-cause and cardiovascular death," said lead researcher Dr. Dongfeng Zhang, of the department of epidemiology at the Medical College of Qingdao University in Shandong, China. Your resting heart rate, or pulse, is the number of times your heart beats a minute. When you're seated or lying down and relaxed, a normal heart rate is between 60 and 100 beats a minute, according to the American Heart Association. Zhang's team analyzed 46 studies involving more than 2 million patients in all. Compared to people with the lowest resting heart rate, those with a resting heart rate of more than 80 beats a minute had a 45 percent greater risk of death from any cause, while people with a resting heart rate of 60 to 80 ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Disease, Tachyarrhythmia, Supraventricular Tachycardia, Ventricular Tachycardia, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction, Ventricular Arrhythmia, Paroxysmal Supraventricular Tachycardia, Atrial Tachycardia, Myocardial Infarction - Prophylaxis, Abnormal Electrocardiogram, Paroxysmal Junctional Tachycardia

New Advisory Says Some Athletes With Heart Conditions OK to Play

Posted 2 Nov 2015 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Nov. 2, 2015 – Some people with a potentially deadly type of irregular heartbeat may be able to play competitive sports, new guidelines say. The scientific statement from the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology pointed out that recent research indicates the risk of sudden cardiac arrest is lower than previously thought for some athletes with irregular heartbeat caused by long QT syndrome and athletes with long QT syndrome who have implanted pacemakers or defibrillators. People with long QT syndrome can experience fast and chaotic heartbeats that can be life-threatening. The new statement applies only to athletes with long QT syndrome who play competitive sports directed by a coach, including baseball, football and basketball. It doesn't apply to people who occasionally play sports for exercise or fun. Since every patient is different, people with ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Attack, Tachyarrhythmia, Supraventricular Tachycardia, Myocardial Infarction, Ventricular Tachycardia, Paroxysmal Supraventricular Tachycardia, Myocardial Infarction - Prophylaxis, Atrial Tachycardia, Paroxysmal Junctional Tachycardia

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