Possible link between premature death and defibrillator shocks

September 3, 2008 2:06:38 PM PDT
Implanted defibrillators shock the heart when a problem is detected. Now researchers say that lifesaving shock may hint at more trouble.A study in the New England Journal of Medicine finds that heart failure patients were far more likely to die within four years after their defibrillator triggers.

The research does not explain why there is that connection, but another study concludes that having an implanted defibrillator does not appear to diminish one's quality of life.

Experts say patients should promptly tell their doctors if their defibrillator triggers.

Also, doctors are encouraged check to see if their patient's condition has worsened.