Medical Devices & Technology

Medical Devices & Technology Articles

Preventing pacemaker, ICD infections now a priority

An increase in the number of infections in people receiving implanted heart devices means caregivers need to make prevention of infection their priority. Here are several things you and your health care providers can do to boost your chances of an infection-free implantation: (Locked) More »

Atrial fibrillation: Common, serious, treatable

Atrial fibrillation occurs when the heart's upper chambers flutter rapidly and weakly, instead of contracting regularly and steadily. Age, high blood pressure, lung disease, thyroid problems, and smoking are among the likely contributors. AF is becoming more common with between 2.3 million and 5.1 million Americans affected, and 150,000 new cases diagnosed each year. This condition increases the risk of stroke fivefold and almost doubles the risk of premature death. There are standard theriapies and new innovations which are highly effective in treating artrial fibrillation. More »

The smartphone will see you now

Hundreds of heart-related applications are available for the iPhone, Android, Blackberry, and other smartphones. Many are little more than glorified diaries or pamphlets. A growing number, though, are tapping into the sophisticated technology packed into these phones. Here are a few examples of useful heart-related apps and devices. (Locked) More »

Deactivating the ICDs of hospice patients

Hospice patients with implantable cardioverter-defibrillators may choose to turn off the shock function of the devices to avoid a potentially painful shock. Turning off an ICD does not mean removing the device or any kind of surgical procedure. It's a matter of reprogramming the device electronically through the skin, an entirely painless procedure.  If an ICD hasn't been turned off and starts to fire, holding a magnet right over the device will temporarily disable it and keep it from delivering multiple shocks.   (Locked) More »

Measuring blood pressure: Let a machine do it

Participants in a research trial who had their blood pressure taken by a machine had lower readings than those who had their pressure taken by a doctor. No matter who — or what — is measuring your blood pressure, here's what you need to do to get the most accurate reading: (Locked) More »

Who needs an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator?

Thousands of people receive implantable cardioverter-defibrillators each year, but not everyone who receives the device really needs it, and some people would be better off pursuing other treatment avenues. Two studies showed that 13% of people who receive ICDs may not need them, at least not according to the strict criteria outlined in professional guidelines. Here is a summary of the most current national guidelines on who does, who might, and who doesn't need an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD).  (Locked) More »