SGMC among first South Georgia hospitals to offer implantable defibrillator

| March 1, 2017

VALDOSTA – South Georgia Medical Center is among the first hospitals in South Georgia to offer the Boston Scientific S-ICD®System, the world’s first and only commercially available subcutaneous implantable defibrillator (S-ICD) for the treatment of patients at risk for sudden cardiac arrest (SCA).

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 ventricular fibrillation.  Recent estimates show that approximately 850,000 people in the United States are at risk of SCA and indicated for an ICD device, but remain unprotected.

The S-ICD System is designed to provide the same protection from SCA as traditional transvenous implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs).  However, the entirety of the S-ICD System sits just below the skin without the need for thin, insulated wires – known as leads – to be placed into the heart itself.  This leaves the heart and blood vessels untouched, providing a new exciting solution for both physicians and patients.

The S-ICD System has two main components: (1) the pulse generator, which powers the system, monitors heart activity, and delivers a shock if needed, and (2) the electrode, which enables the device to sense the cardiac rhythm and serves as a pathway for shock delivery when necessary.  Both components are implanted just under the skin—the generator at the side of the chest, and the electrode beside the breastbone.  Implantation with the S-ICD System is straightforward and can be done using only anatomical landmarks which removes the need for fluoroscopy (an X-ray procedure that is required for standard leads to be placed in the heart).

The S-ICD System is intended to provide defibrillation therapy for the treatment of life-threatening ventricular tachyarrhythmias in patients who do not have symptomatic bradycardia, incessant ventricular tachycardia, or spontaneous, frequently recurring ventricular tachycardia that is reliably terminated with anti-tachycardia pacing.

The S-ICD System received CE Mark in 2009 and is commercially available in many countries in Europe as well as New Zealand.  The U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted regulatory approval for the S-ICD System in September of 2012.  To date, more than 2,000 devices have been implanted in patients around the world.

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