When Jim Fain learned that he needed a defibrillator implanted in his chest because of a weak heart, he wanted doctors to do whatever it took to help him enjoy time with his young grandchildren.
Today, at Medical City Fort Worth of Fort Worth, the 52-year old Springtown man became the first patient in Fort Worth to receive the new Evera MRI implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD).
Defibrillators are implanted below the collarbone to monitor heart rate and deliver an electrical impulse to stop fatal heart irregularities. FDA-approved this month, Medtronic’s Evera MRI ICD is a significant medical advance because it allows patients to safely undergo magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Previous generations of defibrillators were restricted from use with MRI scans.
“Patients with ICDs are often older adults with other serious medical conditions that require an MRI for diagnosis,” said Dr. Senthil Thambidorai, the Fort Worth cardiologist who implanted the Evera device in Fain at Medical City Fort Worth. “We’re grateful to have this game-changing technology to help treat cardiac arrest and enable patient access to MRIs, allowing us to provide even better care.”
According to the American Heart Association, 10,000 Americans have an ICD implanted every month. More than a third of ICD patients are likely to need an MRI scan within four years after their device is implanted. With older defibrillators, MRI would not be an option for those patients. MRI is an imaging test used regularly for a wide range of diagnoses, including stroke, cancer, low back pain and chronic neck pain, all of which are prevalent among older adults.
Fain said he’s looking forward to recuperating, caring for his four horses and teaching his grandchildren to ride and rope.