HackensackUMC Successfully Implants First Patient with MRI Compatible Medtronic Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator

April 13, 2016

Hackensack University Medical Center (HackensackUMC) announced today that it has successfully implanted its first patient with a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) compatible Medtronic implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD).  The Medtronic ICD allows patients at risk for sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) to undergo a full-body MRI.

“HackensackUMC is dedicated to providing excellent care for our patients, and the Heart and Vascular Hospital’s successful Medtronic ICD implantation will help our cardiac patients receive the quality care they need,” said Ihor S. Sawczuk, M.D., FACS, president of HackensackUMC.  “This groundbreaking device will allow more patients with ICDs to get MRIs, which physicians rely upon for critical medical information and decisions, and help us save more lives.”

MRI scans are considered unsafe for many cardiac patients.  MRIs can interfere with the programming of certain pacemakers or ICDs, causing the device to malfunction.  Statistics show that 36 percent of ICD patients will need an MRI scan within four years of implantation. As MRIs become more commonplace for physicians to use as a diagnostic tool for conditions like Alzheimer’s disease, stroke or cancer, it is essential that patients receive an MRI safe ICD.

“So many of our cardiac patients at HackensackUMC’s Heart and Vascular require an ICD implant that delivers lifesaving shocks, but in the past, physicians were only able to implant a device did not allow patients to receive full-body MRI scans,” said Dr. Joseph Parrillo, chairman of the Heart & Vascular Hospital at HackensackUMC.  “Thanks to this new technology, our team is able to offer patients an ICD implant that is MRI safe, which is absolutely critical to their future health and well-being. I look forward to embracing this technology to save more lives.”

ICD implantation is a minimally invasive surgery that can take about one hour and can be done on an outpatient basis.  ICDs deliver lifesaving shocks or harmless pacing that is proven to be 98 percent effective in stopping ventricular fibrillation (VF) or ventricular tachycardia (VT) that can lead to sudden cardiac arrest (SCA).  ICDs are recommended for people who have VT, have decreased pumping in the lower chambers of their heart or who have suffered from SCA or a heart attack in the past.

Last year, the FDA approved Medtronic’s ICD as the first-ever MRI compatible ICD.  The FDA approval was based upon clinical trials that showed the full-body MRI scans did not impact the ICD’s ability to deliver life-saving

Approximately 650,000 Americans have an ICD implant to prevent SCA. Nearly 350,000 people die from SCA in the United States every year.

About Hackensack University Medical Center
HackensackUMC, a nonprofit teaching and research hospital located in Bergen County, NJ, is the largest provider of inpatient and outpatient services in the state. Founded in 1888 as the county’s first hospital, it is the flagship hospital of Hackensack University Health Network, one of the largest health networks in the state comprised of 1,717 beds, more than 10,000 employees and 3,300 credentialed physicians. HackensackUMC was listed as the number one hospital in New Jersey in U.S. News & World Report’s 2015-16 Best Hospital rankings – maintaining its place atop the NJ rankings since the rating system was introduced. HackensackUMC is one of Healthgrades America’s 50 Best Hospitals™ for nine years in a row, and received the Healthgrades Distinguished Hospital Award for Clinical Excellence™ 13 years in a row. The medical center has also been named a Leapfrog Top Hospital, is one of the top 25 green hospitals in the country according to Practice Greenhealth, and received 23 Gold Seals of Approval™ by the Joint Commission – more than any other hospital in the country. It was the first hospital in New Jersey and second in the nation to become a Magnet® recognized hospital for nursing excellence; receiving its fifth consecutive designation in 2014. HackensackUMC has created an entire campus of award-winning care, including: the John Theurer Cancer Center; the Heart & Vascular Hospital; and the Sarkis and Siran Gabrellian Women’s and Children’s Pavilion, which houses the Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital and Donna A. Sanzari Women’s Hospital, which was designed with The Deirdre Imus Environmental Health Center and listed on the Green Guide’s list of Top 10 Green Hospitals in the U.S. HackensackUMC is the Hometown Hospital of the New York Giants and the New York Red Bulls and is the Official Medical Services Provider to The Barclays PGA Golf Tournament. It remains committed to its community through fundraising and community events. To learn more, visit: www.HackensackUMC.org.