Archive - Aug 18, 2008

Archive - Aug 18, 2008

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Lifesaving Implantable Devices Underused in Heart Patients

August 18, 2008–Fewer than half of eligible patients in the U.S. received medical devices to shock their faulty hearts back into rhythm, though the products can cut death rates by more than one-third, a study found.

Hospitals implanted the $33,000 cardiac resynchronization therapy devices in 12.4 percent of heart failure patients, according to a survey of 34,000 cases published online in the journal Circulation. Previous studies suggest 30 percent to 50 percent of heart failure patients have conditions that make them best suited for the pacemakers, said Jonathan Piccini, a Duke University cardiologist who co-authored the paper.

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