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From Medscape Education Cardiology

Strategies to Reduce the Risk for Sudden Cardiac Death

About This Series

The risk for sudden cardiac death can be increased among patients with either ischemic or non-ischemic cardiomyopathies with depressed ejection fractions who may have had a recent myocardial infarction with or without a revascularization procedure. Arrhythmias are common and can be life-threatening; however, there are misperceptions surrounding the use of implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICDs). Guidelines and reimbursement policies are not always clear, nor in agreement, as to which patients are candidates for ICDs. The wearable cardioverter-defibrillator is an underappreciated option. Clinicians need to be aware of all patient populations at high risk for sudden cardiac arrest, including those not meeting current treatment guidelines for ICD implantation, so proper prevention measures may be taken in order to improve patient survival.