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North Shore University Hospital Is First on Long Island to Implant New Heart Device to Protect Against Sudden Cardiac Arrest

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MANHASSET, NY – North Shore University Hospital (NSUH) is the first hospital on Long Island and Queens to implant a new heart device, called a subcutaneous implantable defibrillator (S-ICD), to treat patients at risk of sudden cardiac arrest, a life-threatening condition.

The small heart device, or S-ICD, is implanted under the skin and delivers an electric shock to the heart to treat a dangerously rapid heartbeat.  Unlike a traditional ICD, which involves one or more insulated electrical wires that run from the device through the patient’s vein into the heart and across the heart valve, the S-ICD does not touch a patient’s heart or blood vessels. The device, developed by Boston Scientific and approved by the US Food and Drug Administration, is the world’s first and only commercially available S-ICD system.

“This new, less invasive defibrillator provides cardiologists with a breakthrough treatment option for patients at risk of sudden cardiac arrest,” said Ram Jadonath, MD, director of electrophysiology at North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset, NY. “The new device avoids the use of electrical leads touching the heart or surrounding veins, which reduces risks of infection or other complications if the wires need to be removed.”

Any patient that needs an ICD who does not also require a pacemaker for a slow pulse is a candidate for the new device, Dr. Jadonath added.  North Shore-LIJ’s Lenox Hill Hospital in Manhattan recently performed the new procedure and other health system hospitals will soon perform the S-ICD procedure.

Sudden cardiac arrest is an abrupt loss of heart function.  Most episodes are caused by the rapid and/or chaotic activity of the heart known as ventricular tachycardia or ventrical fibrillation.  Recent estimates show that approximately 850,000 people in the United States are at  risk of sudden cardiac arrest and indicated for an ICD device, but remain unprotected.

The S-ICD has two main components: a battery-powered pulse generator, which monitors heart activity and delivers a shock if needed, and the electrode, which enables the device to sense the cardiac rhythm and deliver shocks when necessary.  Both components are implanted just under the skin – the generator at the side of the chest, and the electrode beside the breastbone, leaving the heart untouched.  

On November 25, Dr. Jadonath and his cardiac team implanted the S-ICD into a Queens man who was suffering from chest pain, a rapid heartbeat and shortness of breath due to a weakness in his heart muscle.  Kraig Codner, 38, a mechanic and father of two teenagers who lives in Cambria Heights, was the first patient at NSUH to receive the S-ICD.  The procedure took about one hour and Mr. Codner was discharged from the hospital after an overnight stay a NSUH.  Mr. Codner is getting accustomed to his new implant and attending regular follow up visits with Dr. Jadonath.

“The new defibrillator is one of the best ideas I’ve heard of…something so small that protects my heart and continually keeps me alive is amazing,” said Mr. Codner, who in his spare time likes to drive and fix race cars. “I’m thankful for the technology because the device is removable and I didn’t need major surgery.”

Heading into the holidays and the New Year, Mr. Codner said he is grateful for many things.  “But mainly, I am looking forward to enjoying life with my family.”

About Boston Scientific

Boston Scientific is a worldwide developer, manufacturer and marketer of medical devices that are used in a broad range of interventional medical specialties.  For more information, please visit: www.bostonscientific.com.

About North Shore-LIJ

The nation's 14th-largest healthcare system, North Shore-LIJ delivers world-class clinical care throughout the New York metropolitan area, pioneering research at The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research and a visionary approach to medical education highlighted by the Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine. North Shore-LIJ cares for people at every stage of life at 16 hospitals and nearly 400 outpatient physician practices throughout the region. North Shore-LIJ’s owned hospitals and long-term care facilities house more than 6,000 beds, employ more than 10,000 nurses and have affiliations with more than 9,400 physicians. With a workforce of more than 46,000, North Shore-LIJ is the largest employer on Long Island and the third-largest private employer in New York City.  For more information, go to www.northshorelij.com.

Media Contacts:
Betty Olt, Director, Special Projects
(516) 465-2645
bolt@nshs.edu

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