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Some Implanted Defibrillators May Not Charge Properly

4 Deaths, 1 Injury May Be Related To Equipment Failure

Apr 19, 2004 | www.thebostonchannel.com

A maker of implanted heart defibrillators says some of its older models may not charge properly and may fail to deliver a needed heart shock.

Medtronic of Minneapolis is recalling a small subset of Micro Jewel II Model 7223Cx and GEM DR Model 7271 ICDs that may take a longer than normal time to charge before delivering therapy.

The company said it's aware of four deaths and one injury that may be related to equipment failure.

The devices in question were implanted in 1997 and 1998 and are approaching their normal replacement time. A total of 6,268 affected devices were manufactured, of which about 1,800 are still in use.

Doctors are being told to verify the charge time and battery voltage of each affected unit. If any devices don't charge properly, Medtronic says they should be replaced.

The devices, implanted in the chest, shock the heart into normal rhythm after patients suffer irregular heartbeats.


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