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Navicent Health Offers Worlds First Subcutaneous Implantable Defibrillator

S-ICD® System for Patients at Risk of Sudden Cardiac Arrest

MACON, GA (Monday, July 13, 2015) - Medical Center, Navicent Health (MCNH) is currently the only hospital in the region to implant the world's first subcutaneous implantable defibrillator for heart patients. MCNH now offers the Boston Scientific S-ICD® System (S-ICD) for patients at risk of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA).

SCA is an abrupt loss of heart function, usually caused by the rapid and/or chaotic activity of the heart known as ventricular tachycardia or ventricular fibrillation. According to recent estimates, approximately 850,000 people in the U.S. are at risk of SCA but, although qualified for an defibrillating device, remain unprotected.

"S-ICD is designed to provide the same protection from SCA as traditional defibrillators. However, the entirety of S-ICD sits just below the skin without the need for leads, the thin, insulated wires, placed into the heart itself. This leaves the heart and blood vessels untouched, providing a new care solution for our patients with increased risk of unexpected sudden cardiac death," said Dr. Felix Sogade, Clinical Cardiac Electrophysiologist. S-ICD has two main components:

  1. A pulse generator, which powers the system, monitors heart activity, and delivers a shock if needed.
  2. An electrode, which enables the device to sense the cardiac rhythm and serves as a pathway for shock delivery when necessary.

"Both components are implanted just under the skin"”the generator at the side of the chest, and the electrode beside the breastbone. Implantation with S-ICD is straightforward and can be done using only anatomical landmarks which removes the need for fluoroscopy, an X-ray procedure that is required for standard leads to be placed in the heart," said Dr. Daniel Haithcock, Clinical Cardiac Electrophysiologist.

Dr. Haithcock implanted the first S-ICD at MCNH in March 2014, with Dr. Sogade and Dr. Muhammed Farham Anwar Ali soon adopting the treatment. To date, 13 patients have received S-ICD at MCNH and each is currently leading a healthy and active life.

"S-ICD provides protection for patients who need a defibrillator, but not a pacemaker. This system is particularly valuable when patients need a defibrillator but either don't have a proper blood vessel access or have a very high risk of infection. We are able to place a lifesaving device without the need of touching the heart and vessels themselves," said Dr. Ali, Clinical Cardiac Electrophysiologist.

The S-ICD System received CE Mark in 2009 and is commercially available in many countries in Europe as well as New Zealand. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted regulatory approval for the S-ICD System in September 2012. To date, more than 2,000 devices have been implanted in patients around the world.

"I'm very happy that we are able to offer this device for heart patients in our region. This therapy has been proven to save lives," said Dr. Haithcock.