Internal Defibrillators

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Evolution of Internal Defibrillators

There are many varieties of defibrillators. The subcutaneous defibrillators are unique in that they do not require using the venous anatomy. This can be advantageous when there are other competing interests such as using those veins for hemodialysis or vascular ports (ie ports for chemotherapy). Additionally, it makes it easier to remove the wires if this ever becomes necessary.

Transvenous defibrillators are the most common type used and they can also provide pacing capabilities similar to those of a pacemaker. These can be single chamber (wire in right ventricle), dual chamber (wire in right atrium and right ventricle), or biventricular (wire in right atrium, right ventricle, and left ventricle pacing capability).

While all of the defibrillators have the primary function of defibrillation (resetting the heart), many offer additional features. One such feature is thoracic impedance monitoring to assess fluid status. This is used to monitor fluid status for heart failure patients. Others have activity logs, MRI compatibility, and Bluetooth technology to automatically transmit reports for monitoring by your cardiologist.

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