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Implanted Devices Bring Misery At Life's End

Monday, 10 Oct 2011 01:10 PM


If you have an implanted defibrillator, you know how important it is for keeping your heart beating regularly. But have you considered what it can do when you are at the end of your life?

Few people want to consider the decisions that need to be made when we reach our final days, but making sure an implanted cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) is turned off can spare you agonizing hours of shocks delivered to your failing heart, a new study points out.

However, not all doctors seem to be willing to discuss such a plan with patients, according to Jim Russo, a registered nurse at the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in New York City, who researched the issue. His work appears in the American Journal of Nursing.

Between 250,000 to 300,000 ICDs are implanted each year in patients at risk of sudden cardiac arrest, msnbc.com reports. But despite their widespread use, fewer than 45 percent of patients with ICDs and do-not-resuscitate orders were advised by their doctors what could happen at the end of their lives, Russo found.

To read the complete msnbc.com story, Go Here.








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