September 28th, 2010

ICD Software Upgrade Can Reduce Inappropriate Shocks from Faulty Leads

A software upgrade for ICDs can help reduce inappropriate shocks, according to a study published online in Circulation. Following reports of high failure rates of Sprint Fidelis defibrillation leads, a software program known as a lead-integrity alert (LIA) was developed for download into previously implanted ICDs.

Charles Swerdlow and colleagues compared 213 ICD patients who received the LIA with 213 patients who did not. More than one inappropriate shock occurred in 38% of LIA recipients versus 70% of patients without the LIA software. “Hundreds of patients have been saved from unnecessary shocks by software that is safe and can be painlessly downloaded in one minute during a standard defibrillator check,” said Swerdlow, in an AHA press release.

Swerdlow noted that one year after the release of the software upgrade, “30% of patients undergoing remote monitoring had not had the software downloaded.”

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