New technology being used in Tauranga Hospital for patients at risk of sudden cardiac arrest is a New Zealand first.
The breakthrough implant technology helps to prevent sudden cardiac death in people at risk, while still allowing full-body MRI scanning in the future.
The Medtronic Evera MRI system is the first device which detects and treats dangerously high heart rates, or tachycardia, and also allows full-body MRI scanning under certain conditions.
Each year, 4,000 New Zealanders experience a sudden cardiac arrest with a survival rate of only 8 per cent.
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The risk of sudden cardiac arrest can be detected through screening and once detected clinicians will generally recommend implantable cardioverter defibrillator therapy consistent with the treatment guidelines by the Cardiac Society of New Zealand.
A Tauranga man has already had the operation.