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Is It Really Necessary to Replace Recalled ICDs?

A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found significant complication rates -- 5.8% of 3000 patients -- in procedures to remove implantable cardioverter-defibrillators after they were recalled, the New York Times reports. That raises questions as to whether such surgeries are really needed. What this really highlights is the need to prevent implantations of a model as soon as problems with it are identified.

That, not the problems themselves, was the most unseemly part of last year's Guidant debacle. The company kept selling the problematic models after it was aware of the malfunctions and made improved versions available.

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