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Prevention of Sudden Arrhythmic Death with Implanted Automatic Defibrillators

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Sinai Hospital of Baltimore, and The Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions; Baltimore, Maryland

Ann Intern Med. 1982;97(4):606-608. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-97-4-606
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Ventricular fibrillation and many ventricular tachycardias are medical emergencies needing immediate application of electrical countershock to prevent brain damage and death. Because the treatment involves trained personnel and specialized equipment, successful resuscitation from these arrhythmias is largely limited to coronary care units and other hospital facilities. It is estimated that ventricular tachyarrhythmias claim the lives of some 450 000 persons annually in the United States alone (1), an increasing number of whom can be identified prospectively as being at high risk for sudden arrhythmic death (2-8).

The strategies for dealing with malignant ventricular rhythms outside of hospitals have been centered




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