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BRIEFLY

Health Care

September 13, 1996|Times Staff and Wire Reports

Heartstream Wins FDA OK on Defibrillator; Shares Jump: The Food and Drug Administration approved the first in a new wave of smaller, cheaper machines that can shock a heart into beating again. Heartstream Inc.'s ForeRunner, about the size of a book, is half the weight of the smallest unit now available. It will cost between $3,000 and $4,000, somewhat cheaper than the $5,000 to $7,500 price tags common for today's defibrillators. The device could revolutionize treatment of sudden cardiac arrest victims. Shares of the company rose $2.625 on Thursday to close at $13.875. During heavy trading--nearly 15 times the stock's three-month daily average volume--the company's shares reached as high as $14.25. The company estimates that if defibrillators such as Forerunner were available in all public areas, they could save between 20,000 and 100,000 lives each year.

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