Caroline Butler and Kenneth Stahl*
Department of Surgery, University of Miami School of Medicine, USAFulltext PDF
Increased use of pacemakers (PM) and implantable cardioverter-defibrillator devices (ICD) in patients with cardiac diseases has paralleled a rise in the number of injured patients presenting to trauma centers with these devices in place. PMs and ICDs store telemetric cardiac data for varying lengths of time, but typically up to or greater than six months, and retrieval of this information after injury is necessary for the complete care of injured cardiac patients. These data may yield critical insight as to a cardiac etiology or device failure that may have been the cause of the injury or resulted from injury. Furthermore, trauma can damage the device itself leading to additional cardiac complications. All of this information can only be discovered by interrogation of the device. We surveyed trauma surgeons who are members of Eastern Association for the Surgery of Trauma (EAST). We found significant underutilization of this resource in the total care of the injured cardiac patient. Because of the importance of this information we advocate for more aggressive retrieval of telemetric data stored in these devices.
Butler C, Stahl K. Management of Injured Cardiac Patients with Pacemaker and Implanted Defibrillator, a Call for Aggressive Utilization of Memory Function. Ann Trauma Acute Care. 2017; 1(1): 1005.