Defibrillator safety questioned

Robert Hauser, M.D.

[Wall Street Journal, January 01, 0001] Two defibrillator brands made by Boston Scientific Corp. have a design flaw that can result in the devices delivering potentially life-threatening shocks to the hearts of patients, authors of a medical journal article say.

The defect can cause the Cognis and Teligen brand defibrillators to deliver the shocks when they aren't needed in the many patients who get the devices implanted just under the skin, according to an article in the journal Heart Rhythm.

Cardiologist Robert Hauser of the Minneapolis Heart Institute at Abbott Northwestern says he doesn't expect doctors to start removing the defibrillators from patients based on the one case cited in the study.

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