One in Five Defibrillators Put in Patients Who Don't Meet Guidelines

A new study said one in five defibrillators are implanted in patients who don’t meet recommended guidelines, and complications and deaths are more frequent in those patients, according to a report by Bloomberg.

The report, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, said the devices, known as implantable cardioverter-defibrillators, generate $6.6 billion in sales for makers such as Medtronic, Boston Scientific and St. Jude Medical.

On the other hand, the study also noted that the same researchers have found in previous studies that many patients who should receive the implantable defibrillators are not getting them.

The federal government has been stepping up investigations of possible overuse of implantable cardioverter-defibrillators as well as stents. "Cardiology and the implantation of ICDs is a very lucrative area for hospitals," a consultant said.

Read the Bloomberg report on implantable defibrillators.

Read more coverage of implantable defibrillators:

-OIG's Increased Scrutiny on Heart Stents and ICDs: What It Means For Your Hospital

-Hospitals Pressure Medical Device Companies to Reduce Prices


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