Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Rock On!

Thanks to Scott Hensley for pointing me to this article in New York Magazine about the rock band Giraffes’ Aaron Lazar who received an implantable cardiac defibrillator (ICD) in 2005 after an episode of aborted sudden death.

The best part? When he haggles about the device's settings:
Lazar returned to New York and met with his doctors and a rep from the ICD manufacturer. One doctor confronted him directly. “She said, ‘You really should not be doing what you’re doing,’” Lazar says. “And I said, ‘This is what I do.’” He then literally haggled with them over a new ICD trigger. “The doctor’s like, ‘Okay, let’s make it 195 for two and a half minutes,’” remembers Lazar. “And I was like, ‘Couldn’t you make it 200 for five minutes?’ It was like buying a mattress from Russians.”
Heh. Rock on!



sherry said...

We've advised several patients that career changes would be needed after their ICD. One of them was a welder and two of them were commercial A/C guys. Proximity to big powerful magnetos - like in your rockstars amps - is dangerous.

Rogue Medic said...

Is it that his stage act gets his heart rate over 200, for a minute or two, on a regular basis? Or is it some interference from the equipment? Or is it some combination or something else?

DrWes said...

Rogue Medic -

I suspect it's because his normal heart rate approaches that rate during his performances.

There is a trade off when doctors set defibrillator detection at too high a rate: they might miss a clinically important rhythm. Alternatively, if they set a detection rate too low, the patient is more likely to be shocked for normal rapid rhythms.