Latest Issue of Science News


Feature

Calling Death's Bluff

Implantable defibrillators can save thousands of lives—but which ones?

Some hearts seem to be beating normally one moment, but then quiver for an instant and fall still forever. In these cases, the heart's electrical circuitry goes haywire, and its contractions accelerate until the organ flails uselessly and shuts down. Sudden cardiac death awaits nearly half a million people nationwide in the next 12 months. Once a person's heart stops, there is usually little that any hospital can do.

Note: To comment, Science News subscribing members must now establish a separate login relationship with Disqus. Click the Disqus icon below, enter your e-mail and click “forgot password” to reset your password. You may also log into Disqus using Facebook, Twitter or Google.

X
This article is available only to subscribing members. Join SSP today or Log in.