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Two Hartford Hospital Doctors - First in Region to Implant New Devices for Cardiac Patients

March 13, 2014

Hartford, CT – Hartford Hospital became the first in the region to implant Boston Scientific’s  subcutaneous implantable defibrillator, (S-ICD)® for the treatment of patients at risk of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) and Medtronic’s Reveal LINQ® for patients with suspected heart rhythm abnormalities.

Reveal LINQ Loop Recorder
Dr. Steven Zweibel was the first physician in Connecticut to implant The Medtronic Reveal LINQ loop recorder. The device is an implantable cardiac monitor used to detect arrhythmias, like atrial fibrillation (A-Fib). A-Fib can cause palpitations, passing out and even stroke.

The recorder connects to a wireless cellular transmitter that is provided to the patient and can send information on the patient's heart rhythm back to their physician almost immediately.

“This new implantable loop recorder will revolutionize the way we monitor and treat atrial fibrillation,” said Steven Zweibel, M.D., director of electrophysiology at Hartford Hospital. “The recorder will monitor and reveal the cause of these events as they happen, and will allow us to individualize appropriate and necessary treatments for our patients.” added Dr. Zweibel.

The new device lasts longer and is significantly smaller than the previous model so it can be implanted just under the skin in the chest.

The procedure is performed minimally invasively with the device being injected underneath the skin and takes only a few minutes, requiring a small amount of local anesthetic compared to previous methods where an open, surgical procedure is performed.

S-ICD Device
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.

Dr. Edmond Cronin was the first physician in the region to implant the S-ICD system. It is designed to provide the same protection from SCA as traditional transvenous implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs). However, 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.

“With more people at risk for sudden cardiac arrest, we must be at the forefront with
leading-edge treatment protocols to provide patients with the best possible protection from
SCA,” said Dr. Cronin, electrophysiologist, Hartford Hospital. “Having been the first hospital
in the region to implant this life-saving device, we are giving patients that piece of mind
without even touching the heart.”

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).

About Medtronic and Medtronic Philanthropy
Medtronic, Inc. (www.medtronic.com), headquartered in Minneapolis, is the global leader in medical technology - alleviating pain, restoring health, and extending life for millions of people around the world. Medtronic Philanthropy focuses on expanding access to quality chronic disease care among underserved populations worldwide, in addition to supporting health access initiatives in communities where Medtronic employees live and give.

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 Hartford Hospital
Hartford Hospital, founded in 1854, is one of the largest teaching hospitals and tertiary care centers in New England with one of the region's busiest surgery practices. It is annually ranked among America's Best Hospitals by US News & World Report and has been recognized nationally for the quality of many of its programs, including cardiology, cancer, stroke and joint and spine care. The 867-bed regional referral center provides high-quality care in all clinical disciplines. Among its divisions is The Institute of Living, a 114-bed mental health facility with a national and international reputation of excellence. Jefferson House, a 104-bed long-term care facility, is also a special division of Hartford Hospital. The hospital’s major centers of clinical excellence include cardiology, oncology, emergency services and trauma, mental health, women’s health, orthopedics, bloodless surgery and advanced organ transplantation. Hartford Hospital owns and operates the state’s only air ambulance system, LIFE STAR.

Hartford Hospital