20% of Cardiac Defibrillators Implanted are Questionable

A new medical study has concluded that 20% of cardiac defibrillators surgically implanted in patients are done so without decent evidence the medical device will improve the patient’s condition.
According to the Associated Press story, “Patients who’ve had a recent heart attack or recent bypass surgery aren’t good candidates for defibrillators, for example. Guidelines don’t recommend them for people newly diagnosed with heart failure either and those so sick that they have very limited life expectancies won’t be helped. But in the new study, which examined nearly four years of national data, 22 percent of the implant surgeries were in patients who fit one of those categories.”
The study will appear in tomorrow’s edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association and covered 112,000 patients from 2006 until 2009.