New St. Jude Defibrillators Cleared

They vibrate when something goes wrong.
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St. Jude Medical

(STJ)

received FDA clearance for a new line of implanted defibrillators.

The Epic II implanted cardiac defibrillators and cardiac resynchronization devices are an upgrade from previous models, with a design to protect patients against inappropriate shocks and avoid excessive ventricular pacing

Unnecessary shocks have been reported in previous patients with implanted heart devices. Studies have shown that excessive pacing, where ventricles receive too much electricity, may contribute to heart failure in some patients, the company said.

The device is also the first to vibrate when it senses conditions that cause a significant change in the device's function or output, St. Jude said. Previous models used an audible alert when that happened.

"These devices, along with the recently launched Merlin Patient Care System, provide a suite of advanced diagnostics, an innovative patient notification feature and the ability to conduct faster follow-up exams." said Dr. Eric Fain, of St. Jude's Cardiac Rhythm Management Division.

St. Jude's shares were up 23 cents to $38.38 early Tuesday.

The devices are expected to launch later this month.