Things Your Mother Probably Taught You

From the category of “What were they thinking about?” comes an article in the NYT that informs us that people who have defibrillators implanted by specialists have fewer problems.

Patients who had heart defibrillators implanted by specialists had fewer serious complications than patients who got them implanted by other types of doctors, according to a study released Tuesday.

The study, in The Journal of the American Medical Association, reviewed the experiences of more than 110,000 patients who received defibrillators and other heart devices between January 2006 and June 2007. The review, which analyzed how patients fared during the procedure or while still in the hospital afterward, was headed by Dr. Jeptha P. Curtis, a cardiologist at Yale University.

Overall, the study found that the rate of serious complications like heart attacks or internal bleeding that occurred during the implant of a heart device was lowest — about 1.3 percent — when the procedure was performed by an electrophysiologist, the name for a cardiologist formally trained in device use.

So, just in case your dermatolagist told you he can get you into a new defribrillator for 20% less than the heart surgeon’s estimate, you are hereby warned.

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