St. Jude pacemaker: An unwanted breakthrough

  • Updated: April 4, 2012 - 9:04 PM

 

The problem: Wires in St. Jude Medical's QuickSite and QuickFlex pacemaker leads have been found to break through their outer silicone insulation.

How it works: A lead is a wire that runs from a pacemaker to the heart. This type of lead is called a left ventricular lead, and it helps synchronize both sides of the heart to beat more efficiently.

When introduced: QuickSite, 2004; QuickFlex, 2007.

Number sold: 171,000 worldwide; 59,000 in the United States.

What's being done: St. Jude now sells improved leads. The company sent a letter to doctors Wednesday advising them about the problem with older leads.

JAMES WALSH

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