It's the same treatment provided by traditional defibrillators implanted in the chest and attached to the heart by thin insulated wires, except this device sits just below the skin without the wire to the heart.
James Van Dyke, 40, of Dexter, Mo., became the first person to receive the new device at Baptist a few weeks ago.
"I didn't even have to spend the night," said Van Dyke, who became ill last fall after a possible viral infection weakened his heart and put him at risk of cardiac arrest. "It's been good. I haven't had any complications."
Implanted defibrillators have provided successful life-saving treatment for decades.
Van Dyke's cardiologist Kenneth Ford, MD, of the Baptist Heart Group, said the new defibrillator is a good option for patients with limited vascular access and those who have had complications with other devices.
Dr. Ford said Van Dyke will likely live with the device for his entire life. "It doesn't have the same risk for infection or other complications," he said.
Baptist Heart Center, the first heart center of its kind west of Louisville, is recognized among the nation's best by the American College of Cardiology. "Baptist Health Paducah is dedicated to achieving the best possible outcome for the patients we are privileged to serve," said William A. Brown, hospital president. "Providing the latest technology to our community is one reason we are the heart hospital preferred 3 to 1."Baptist Health Paducah offers a free, five-minute heart risk assessment at www.baptisthealthpaducah.com/heart and a 24-hour Chest Pain & Stroke Hotline staffed by local nurses at (800) 575-1911.
Information provided by Angie Kinsey
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