Fifty-two patients who survived several arrhythmic cardiac arrests had implantation of an automatic defibrillator along with additional cardiovascular surgery as indicated. The mean follow-up was 14.4 months and the longest was 3 years. In the hospital, the implanted devices identified and reverted 82 episodes of spontaneous and 81 of 99 episodes of induced malignant tachyarrhythmias. There were 62 automatic resuscitations in 17 patients outside the hospital. Twelve patients died; 4 of the deaths were not witnessed. These deaths represent a 22.9% total and 8.5% sudden-death 1-year mortality rate. Because the expected 1-year mortality in patients without the automatic defibrillator was calculated to be 48%, there was an estimated 52% decrease in anticipated total deaths. The automatic implantable defibrillator can identify and correct potentially lethal ventricular tachyarrhythmias, leading to a substantial increase in 1-year survival in properly selected high-risk patients.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Internal Medicine