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St. Elizabeth Healthcare adds patient-customized heart failure technology

First facility in Greater Cincinnati area to offer system

EDGEWOOD, Ky. (Sept. 19, 2014) — St. Elizabeth Healthcare is using a new cardiac resynchronization therapy-defibrillator (CRT-D) system that features technology designed to improve the pumping function of the heart and provide physicians with more options to customize the therapy for each individual patient’s needs.

St. elizabethSt. Elizabeth is the first hospital in the Greater Cincinnati area to use the technology, which was recently approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

A CRT-D system is similar to a pacemaker in that it includes a small battery-operated computer implanted under the skin of the upper chest, and thin wires called leads that connect the device to the heart. These leads deliver low-level electrical pulses to keep the ventricles (bottom chambers of the heart) beating in a synchronized rhythm. This helps improve the overall pumping efficiency of the heart by ensuring that blood is appropriately circulating through the body. CRT- defibrillators also can shock a dangerously fast heartbeat back into a normal rhythm if needed.

The CRT-D system is a lead that has four electrodes (conventional leads contain only two electrodes). This provides physicians with 16 different configuration options to deliver the electrical pulses to the heart. The system also includes a special algorithm called AdaptivCRT that enables the device to automatically adjust its heart pacing support every minute as needed. These two features may help more patients respond to the therapy and allow physicians to treat patients more efficiently.