New Berlin Man First in US to Receive New Kind of Defibrillator Implant

By Jeremy Coumbes on October 9, 2019 at 12:03pm

A New Berlin man is the first person in the United States to receive a new kind of implantable defibrillator in a study being undertaken by the Prairie Heart Institute in Springfield.

Bobby Dokey was 16 years old when he was diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. The elective procedure gives the 30-year-old husband and father from New Berlin peace of mind knowing he is protected said Dokey, whose father died of heart disease at age 42.

The Prairie Heart Institute in Springfield is the first hospital in the US and second worldwide to use new, investigational medical technology to treat dangerously fast heart rhythms.

As part of the worldwide Extravascular Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (EV ICD) Pivotal Study, John Scherschel, MD, a Prairie cardiologist, implanted the novel EV ICD system in Dorkey due to his risk of sudden cardiac arrest.

The investigational EV ICD system is designed to deliver lifesaving defibrillation and pacing therapy from an implanted device via a thin wire called a lead, which is placed outside the heart and veins. In traditional, implanted defibrillator systems, the lead is threaded through the veins and into the heart.

ICDs have been saving lives for more than 30 years by delivering a lifesaving shock or painless pacing therapy to stop dangerously fast heart rhythms that can lead to sudden cardiac arrest (SCA), an abrupt loss of heart function. Most SCA episodes are caused by the rapid and/or chaotic activity of the heart. SCA kills more than 350,000 people each year in the United States, according to a press release by the Prairie Heart Institute.

Dokey said that the device worked three times during testing and he has no fear that it will not do it’s job. The Prairie Heart Institute is currently seeking additional patients to participate in the study.