New-generation subcutaneous life-saving shock device inplanted today

New-generation subcutaneous life-saving shock device inplanted today

IN A FIRST IN SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA, A NEW-GENERATION LIFE-SAVING SHOCK DEVICE TO PREVENT SUDDEN CARDIAC DEATH, IS CURRENTLY IN THE PROCESS OF BEING IMPLANTED AT MEDICLINIC PANORAMA TODAY
At 09.30:00 this morning a patient was wheeled into a theatre in the heart unit of Mediclinic Panorama for implantation of a lifesaving shock device under his skin and without a single wire touching his heart.

Mr. Jan Wiehman (55) of Welgemoed, Bellville will be the first patient in Africa to receive a subcutaneous shock device, also known as a subcutaneous cardioverter defibrillator (S-ICD), to prevent sudden cardiac death.

Dr Razeen Gopal, Cardiac Electrophysiologist at the Cape Town AF Centre located at Mediclinic Panorama, will implant the new generation lifesaving shock device.

“Unlike traditional implantable defibrillators, it does not require leads in the venous system, eliminating potential sources of complications related to such leads or pockets, the most feared being infection,” said Dr Gopal.

Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is a serious, life-threatening medical emergency that happens abruptly and without warning. During SCA, the heart’s electrical system malfunctions, and it is no longer able to pump blood to the rest of the body. The lack of blood to the brain causes the person to lose consciousness quickly. If the heart is not shocked back into normal rhythm within less than three minutes, brain damage and death can occur.

For those at risk of SCA, one treatment option is an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD), which may prevent sudden cardiac death. ICDs are implanted devices that can sense arrhythmias (irregular heart beats) and deliver strong electrical shocks to the heart to restore a normal heart rhythm, also known as sinus rhythm. ICD therapy has been shown to effectively stop 95 percent or more of dangerously fast heart rhythms.

With an ICD device,19 out of 20 people will survive sudden cardiac arrest.

More information, images and a video of the first procedure in Africa and images of the first patient will be available later today.