Implantable Defibrillator for Patients at Risk of Sudden Cardiac Arrest
Sister and Brother Become Two of Orange Coast Memorial’s First Patients to Receive the S-ICD
FOUNTAIN VALLEY, CA – Orange Coast Memorial Medical Center is among the first hospitals in Orange County to implant the Boston Scientific S-ICD® System, the world's first and only commercially available subcutaneous implantable defibrillator (S-ICD) for the treatment of patients at risk for sudden cardiac arrest (SCA).
Sudden cardiac arrest is an abrupt loss of heart function. Most episodes are caused by the rapid and/or chaotic activity of the heart known as ventricular tachycardia or ventricular fibrillation. Recent estimates show that approximately 850,000 people in the United States are at risk of SCA and are candidates for an ICD device, but remain unprotected.
The S-ICD System is designed to provide the same protection from SCA as traditional transvenous implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs). However, the entirety of the S-ICD System sits just below the skin without the need for thin insulated wires – known as leads – to be placed into the heart itself. This leaves the heart and blood vessels untouched, providing a less invasive solution for both physicians and patients.
Brea resident and occupational therapist Jennifer Bobier, 29, was one of Orange Coast Memorial Medical Center’s first patients to receive the S-ICD. The procedure was successfully performed by Dr. Thuy Le, a cardiac electrophysiologist at the MemorialCare Heart & Vascular Institute at Orange Coast Memorial Medical Center, on May 22, 2014. Having suffered from mitochondrial disease since childhood and having tragically lost her brother Bradley, 20, in 2011 due to complications from the disease, Jennifer decided to meet with a geneticist who discovered a rare gene called the KCNE1 that confirmed she had Long QT syndrome. Long QT is a rare inherited heart condition that increases the risk of suffering from episodes of an irregular heartbeat that may lead to palpitations, fainting, and sudden death. Jennifer’s brother Chris, 26, followed his sister’s lead and met with a geneticist who discovered the same gene confirming that he too has Long QT syndrome. Dr. Le successfully performed his S-ICD procedure on June 12, 2014 and he was released from the hospital the next day.
Prior to her receiving the S-ICD, Bobier had undergone two unsuccessful ICD procedures to treat her condition. One ICD programming issue caused her to be rushed to Orange Coast Memorial Medical Center’s Emergency Department. While in the hospital, she was referred to Dr. Le who removed the failed ICD and successfully implanted an S-ICD. Bobier was released from the hospital the next day and is slowly returning to the activities she has always enjoyed. “After undergoing two failed ICD procedures, I am so grateful to have found Dr. Le because I feel like my brother and I have regained control of our lives,” explains Bobier.
The S-ICD System has two main components: (1) the pulse generator, which powers the system, monitors heart activity, and delivers a shock if needed, and (2) the electrode, which enables the device to sense the cardiac rhythm and serves as a pathway for shock delivery when necessary. Both components are implanted just under the skin—the generator at the side of the chest, and the electrode beside the breastbone. Implantation with the S-ICD System is straightforward and can be done using only anatomical landmarks which removes the need for fluoroscopy (an X-ray procedure that is required for standard leads to be placed in the heart).
The S-ICD System is intended to provide defibrillation therapy for the treatment of life-threatening ventricular tachyarrhythmias in patients who do not have symptomatic bradycardia, incessant ventricular tachycardia, or spontaneous, frequently recurring ventricular tachycardia that is reliably terminated with anti-tachycardia pacing.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted regulatory approval for the S-ICD System in September of 2012. To date, more than 2,000 devices have been implanted in patients around the world.
“The S-ICD System is like having an emergency response team on your chest,” says Dr. Le. “The S-ICD System is a valuable new treatment option for both primary and secondary prevention for patients at risk of sudden cardiac arrest. In addition, it provides an important alternative for patients that are not candidates for conventional transvenous ICD systems.”
For more information about Orange Coast Memorial Medical Center or the S-ICD System, please call 714-378-7207 or visit our website at www.memorialcare.org/heart.