For patients in whom no reversible causes of the cardiomyopathy are identified, our team can help with prevention of sudden cardiac death by placing an implantable cardiac defibrillator (ICD).
All patients with a left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) of less than 35% and symptoms of heart failure are at high risk of developing sudden ventricular tachycardia or fibrillation, extremely fast and erratic heartbeats when the heart is not able to pump any blood. This can lead to sudden cardiac death.
This kind of arrhythmia needs the emergency treatment of an electrical shock to terminate it and reset the heart. Otherwise, the brain will die within minutes, as will the rest of the body.
This shock can be delivered externally, but that often involves a harmful delay. Alternatively, the shock can be delivered internally and immediately by an implantable defibrillator (ICD). ICDs have proven for many years and in many trials of tens of thousands of patients to save lives. The abnormal rhythm that would require a rescue shock from an ICD might happen in the near future or not for a long time. The ICD is an example of today’s powerful lifesaving technology.
At Valley, we are highly specialized in implanting these devices and have access to the latest proven technology. There are multiple types of ICDs, including transvenous and subcutaneous systems. Together with you the electrophysiology (EP) team will choose the one that fits you best based on your individual situation.