Sudden cardiac arrest, an abrupt loss of heart function, claims more than one million lives each year worldwide and only five percent of victims survive. Researchers at the Ohio State University Medical Center are hoping to change that by participating in a study testing the safety and effectiveness of this new device.
“Statistics show that the majority of those suffering from sudden cardiac arrest don’t survive, so preventing it is very important,” says Dr. Raul Weiss, an electrophysiologist in the division of cardiovascular medicine at Ohio State’s Medical Center, who implanted the device. “By implanting the device under the skin, the risk of heart complications is reduced.”
Sudden cardiac arrest differs from a heart attack in that an electrical malfunction results in no blood flow to the body or the brain. A heart attack is caused by a blockage in a vessel supplying blood to the heart, which may permanently damage part of the heart. Unlike sudden cardiac arrest, most people survive a first heart attack. Implantable defibrillators are proven to be effective in treating dangerous heart rhythms that can lead to sudden cardiac arrest and, according to Weiss, “are like having an emergency room in your chest.”
OSU Medical Center is participating in a multi-center study approved by the Food and Drug Administration under an investigational device exemption. Approximately 330 patients will be enrolled worldwide.
“By participating in this study, we are evaluating the long-term safety and effectiveness of the device, as well as its performance for patients at high risk or who suffer sudden cardiac arrest,” adds Weiss.
The device was developed by Cameron Health, Inc., San Clemente, CA.
Medical Center Communications