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Study finds implantable cardioverter defibrillators underutilized

Canadian researchers found that, despite recommendations, implantable cardioverter defibrillators are being underutilized by doctors to save patients.

Sudden cardiac death as a result of cardiac arrest is estimated to be the number one cause of death worldwide by 2020. Fewer than 10 percent of patients who experience sudden cardiac arrest, or SCA, outside of a hospital survive, and recurrence rates after an initial event are high.

Because of the high risk of recurrence of an SCA, international and Canadian Cardiovascular Society guidelines strongly recommend the use of implantable cardioverter defibrillators, or ICDs, in certain patients who survive cardiac arrest.

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