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First heart procedure performed

HATTIESBURG — Hattiesburg Clinic interventional cardiologist Dr. Randy Smith, along with Forrest General Hospital’s Cardiac Catheterization Lab staff, recently performed a what Forrest General says is a first for Mississippi.

Implantation of a new device, the Current Plus ICD with SJ4 connector system, was performed on patient Connie Ladner, 43, of Oak Grove, making Forrest General the first hospital in Mississippi to utilize this new device, the hospital said. The Current Plus ICD, which is made by St. Jude Medical Inc., was approved by the FDA in April 2009, and the first device was implanted in June 2009 at Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio.

An ICD, or implantable cardioverter defibrillator, is a small device implanted in the chest to treat potentially lethal, abnormally fast heart rhythms, which often lead to sudden cardiac death. ICDs use defibrillation leads, which are long insulated wires that serve as a conduit between an implanted device and the heart, to deliver potentially life-saving therapy. The lead sends electrical signals from the device to the heart, and also carries information from the heart back to the implanted device. This data can be used by the device to deliver therapy or make automatic adjustments, and used by physicians to determine optimal device settings and therapies for each patient.

While ICDs have been used for many years, the new Current Plus ICD reduces the number of connections between the device and the defibrillation leads that send electrical impulses to the heart. The SJ4 connector system features a single connection between the device and the defibrillation lead, and a single set screw, used to tighten and secure the lead to the device. Previous defibrillator lead designs required three separate connections and four set screws.

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