St. Elizabeth Healthcare First in Kentucky to Implant New Device To Treat Abnormal Heart Rhythm

"Illustration of Aurora EV-ICD Implantation"

Doctors with the Florence Wormald Heart & Vascular Institute at St. Elizabeth Healthcare  are the first in Kentucky and the Greater Cincinnati region to implant the Aurora EV-ICD™ system — a new device to treat fast or irregular heartbeats and prevent sudden cardiac arrest. J. Christian Hays, MD, Director of Cardiac Electrophysiology at St. Elizabeth Healthcare, performed the procedure on January 12, 2024.

The Aurora EV-ICD system is manufactured by Medtronic and was approved for use by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in October 2023.

An irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia) occurs when the heart’s electrical system quits working correctly. An arrhythmia is also called a heart rhythm disorder. Arrhythmias can cause the heart to stop beating (sudden cardiac arrest). Implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICDs) are devices doctors implant in the upper chest to treat arrhythmias. ICDs use thin wires (leads) to monitor the heart for rhythm changes. These leads then send electrical signals to the heart to correct an irregular heartbeat.

Aurora EV-ICD is unlike traditional ICDs, whose leads are threaded through a vein into the heart. Instead, the Aurora EV-ICD system’s leads are placed outside the heart and veins. The Aurora EV-ICD is implanted below the left armpit, and the device’s leads are placed under the breastbone. Once implanted, the Aurora EV-ICD monitors a person’s heartbeat 24/7. If it detects an irregular heart rhythm or one that’s too fast, the device sends an electrical signal through the lead to the heart. This signal corrects the heart rate. In cases where a fast heartbeat continues, the Aurora EV-ICD can also send an electric shock to “reset” the heartbeat to a normal pace.

Dr. Hays says the Aurora EV-ICD is highly effective and may also be safer than traditional ICDs. “The Aurora EV ICD is an extravascular ICD with Antitachycardial pacing (ATP) and post shock pacing capabilities,” Dr. Hays says. “We are the first in Kentucky, Indiana and certainly Cincinnati to place this new life saving technology.”

The Aurora EV-ICD may be a promising treatment option for people who have been diagnosed with arrhythmias, including fast heartbeat (tachycardia) or heart failure. It’s also recommended for someone who has had a heart attack or suffered from a previous sudden cardiac arrest.

“We’re excited to be the first health system in Kentucky and the Greater Cincinnati region to offer this new-to-market device,” said D.P. Suresh, MD, Executive Medical Director of the Florence Wormald Heart & Vascular Institute at St. Elizabeth. “We must offer every life-saving option for our community.”

Learn more about cardiology services offered at St. Elizabeth Healthcare or contact us at 859-331-3353.


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