Risks: Infections Follow Rise in Cardiac Implants

By Nicholas Bakalar, The New York Times

The number of implantable cardiac devices in use has doubled since 1993, and the number of infections associated with them has more than tripled, a new study has found.

Use of implanted defibrillators, which prevent irregular heartbeats, increased by more than 500 percent from 1993 to 2008, while use of implanted pacemakers, which speed up a slowly beating heart, increased by 45 percent, the report said. More than 4.2 million of these devices were implanted during the 16-year period.

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