Implant defibrillators approved for use

Sunday, August 4th 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

Doctors at the Oklahoma Heart Institute have been using them for years but the food and drug administration has approved implantable defibrillators for a new use.

KOTV first told you about the devices back in March.

That's when a study showed a 31 percent reduction in the risk of death in patients with prior heart attacks who had the device.

Now the F-D-A is approving implantable defibrillators in people with prior heart attacks with depressed heart function.

Three to four million people in the U-S could now be saved from sudden cardiac death.

"The heart's rhythm becomes chaotic, and it can no longer pump blood. And the death rate from that in the United States, if it occurs outside a hospital, is 95 percent," according to Dr. James Coman at the Oklahoma Heart Institute.

Dr. James Coman says sudden cardiac arrest is the nation's number one killer.