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November 12, 2007 | From wire reports
Researchers attending the American Heart Assn.'s annual meeting in Orlando, Fla., last week reported the results from a plethora of heart-related studies. Among the findings . . . Bystanders using battery-powered defibrillators may be saving more than 500 lives every year in the United States and Canada alone. "Good Samaritans, when given access to automated defibrillators in potentially fatal emergencies, save lives," Dr.
October 22, 2007 | Mary Beckman, Special to The Times
Last week, the Food and Drug Administration and heart device maker Medtronic told doctors to stop using a particular component -- the wire lead -- of Medtronic's latest generation of implanted heart defibrillators. Cardiologist Dr. William Maisel, a consultant to the FDA, explains what these devices do and what went wrong. What are these implantable heart devices? Implantable heart devices come in two types. The more common device, a pacemaker, is designed for hearts that beat too slowly.
October 16, 2007 | From the Associated Press
Medtronic Inc. warned doctors Monday that the wires connecting a patient's heart to the firm's implantable defibrillators break too often. The news knocked Medtronic shares down $6.33 or 11.2% to $50. Medtronic told doctors to stop using the Sprint Fidelis wires after linking five deaths to breaks in them. The company said the Fidelis wires failed slightly more often than the thicker wires they were meant to replace. The problem does not affect Medtronic pacemakers.
October 3, 2007 | Thomas H. Maugh II, Times Staff Writer
Elderly male heart patients are two to three times more likely than females to receive implanted devices that shock a malfunctioning heart back into normal rhythms, and white men are about a third more likely than black men to receive them, researchers reported today. Overall, only about a third of patients who are eligible for the potentially lifesaving implanted cardioverter defibrillators are actually getting them, according to a pair of studies in the Journal of the American Medical Assn.
July 30, 2007 | From Times wire reports
Researchers toting up the pluses and minuses of implanting defibrillators in the chests of people with a potentially fatal heart defect said last week that the devices could save lives, but could also expose patients to deadly risks. An estimated 500,000 Americans were born with a genetic heart defect that causes a condition called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, or HCM, that can cause the heart to beat abnormally and damage the heart muscle.
July 21, 2007 | From Times Wire Services
Heart device maker Medtronic Inc. has agreed to pay more than $75 million to settle lawsuits claiming it hid defects in its defibrillators, people with direct knowledge of the accord said. The settlement will resolve about 2,000 claims over battery defects in Medtronic's implantable defibrillators, which automatically send electric jolts to correct heart rhythms that are potentially fatal.
July 14, 2007 | From Times Wire Reports
Boston Scientific Corp. said it had agreed to pay $195 million to settle about 4,000 claims involving heart defibrillators and pacemakers made by Guidant Corp., which it acquired last year. The company said in a statement that the agreement was reached during mediation sessions with U.S. Magistrate Judge Arthur J. Boylan in Minneapolis. The claims were consolidated in federal court in Minneapolis, with the first trial due to start July 30.
May 27, 2007 | From the Associated Press
June Daugherty was saved from cardiac arrest and death through extraordinary fortune on Tuesday. Now she begins life with the defibrillator that doctors installed in her chest on Thursday. She can ask Kayla Burt for advice. Daugherty, Washington State's women's basketball coach, and Burt, her former player at Washington, share the same rare condition: cardiomyopathy. Both went into cardiac arrest. Both were seconds from dying. Yet both are alive and in basketball.
April 10, 2007 | From Reuters
Boston Scientific Corp. has notified doctors that some of its implantable heart defibrillators contain batteries that could deplete early, shortening the life span of the devices. There have been no patient deaths or serious injuries associated with the battery voltage problem, the company said in a letter to doctors dated Thursday and posted on the website of its Guidant unit.
March 2, 2007 | Lauren Peterson, Times Staff Writer
As the runners, one by one, crossed the finish line at last year's Los Angeles Marathon, Terry Reyna waited for her husband, Raul, to join them. But there was no Raul, and each passing minute fueled her uneasiness. "He was going for the five-hour mark. At about 1 p.m., I knew he had to have been in by then," she said. "It's easy to get lost in that crowd, though, and I was just about to go to try to find out where he was, when I got the phone call."
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