Recall of Device to Treat Irregular Heartbeats is Worrying Patients Who Have Them In Their Bodies

Defibrillators are medical devices that treat irregular heartbeats and can prevent sudden cardiac arrest. The 79,000 Americans who were implanted with the Riata or Riata ST Silicone implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) leads made by St. Jude Medical are left wondering what to do now that the FDA recalled the device in December 2011. This recall was announced a year after the company stopped their sales of the product.

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Heart CT Scans: New Heart Disease Test May Cause Cancer

Heart disease is the leading cause of death among adults in the U.S., so some doctors have recently started using a “CAT scan” (or CT scan) to detect blockages in the heart’s arteries. Unfortunately, a CT scan uses relatively large doses of radiation, which could ultimately lead to many new cases of cancer from increased exposure to radiation. Although heart CT scanning may be a useful tool in detecting blockages in heart arteries, there is not enough evidence to show that this test is worth the risks and is therefore not recommended for screening for heart disease at this time.

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