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Medical Equipment And Supplies

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 8, 2007 | From the Associated Press
madison, wis. -- What if your doctor could swipe a wand over your neck and reveal whether you have hidden heart disease? That is now possible in places other than the sick bay of the starship Enterprise. Miniature ultrasound machines are starting to make their way into ordinary doctors' offices, where they may someday be as common as stethoscopes and electrocardiographs. A pocket-sized one weighing less than 2 pounds hit the market last week.
August 27, 2007 | Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, Times Staff Writer
washington -- Army Master Sgt. Harold Kinamon entered a military hospital in Ohio for routine respiratory surgery to help him sleep better. The operation, in October 2005, progressed smoothly. He went home with nothing more than a raw throat and a painkiller contained in an adhesive patch on his skin. That night, Kinamon, 41, died in his sleep -- killed by an overdose of the drug delivered through the patch.
July 2, 2007 | Shari Roan, Times Staff Writer
LAURA BEARD was flipping through a women's magazine when an advertisement caught her eye. It sounded simple enough: Aim a laser at individual blemishes -- in the privacy of one's home -- and the skin will clear up within a day or two. The cost, $150, gave her only slight pause. If the device worked, it would save her the time and money she spent on acne treatments and dermatologist visits for herself and her daughter.
May 21, 2007 | From the Associated Press
Hologic Inc., a maker of diagnostic and medical imaging systems, has agreed to acquire medical device maker Cytyc Corp. and create a $10-billion company that focuses exclusively on advanced technology in women's health, the two companies announced Sunday. The combination is expected to drive cross-selling across units of the new company, generating more than $75 million in extra revenue within the first three years.
May 2, 2007 | Mary Engel, Times Staff Writer
Community health clinics throughout California will begin giving away environmentally friendly asthma inhalers this week to uninsured and low-income patients facing a federal ban on older inhalers that use an ozone-depleting propellent. After next year, pharmacies will no longer dispense inhalers that use chlorofluorocarbons, or CFCs.
April 9, 2007 | Daniel Costello, Times Staff Writer
Open heart surgery, which many patients and doctors have avoided in the last decade in favor of less-invasive heart stents, is making a comeback. Recent studies suggest that bypass surgery could extend many patients' lives longer than stents, the tiny devices designed to reinforce damaged arteries. The newest generation of stents, which are coated with drugs meant to inhibit blood clots, might actually increase the risk of clots compared with older, bare-metal versions, other studies suggest.
March 26, 2007 | Thomas H. Maugh II, Times Staff Writer
An implanted electronic device similar to a pacemaker can lower blood pressure by at least 20 points in patients with drug-resistant hypertension, researchers reported Sunday at the American College of Cardiology meeting in New Orleans. By applying electrical pulses to the carotid arteries in the neck, the device triggers the body's baroreflex system, which causes the heart to pump more slowly, arteries to dilate and the kidneys to excrete more fluid.
March 5, 2007 | Chris Woolston, Special to The Times
Is there a reliable way to check my antioxidant levels? A laser scan said I was running low. GAIL L. Riverside The products: When a fender oxidizes, it's called "rust." In your body, oxidation plays a key role in aging and disease. Antioxidants such as vitamin E, vitamin C and beta carotene can offer protection, but you may wonder if you have enough to keep the rust away. If you're concerned -- or just curious -- you can always try a high-tech palm reading.
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