MORE than 100 extra people in Oxfordshire could benefit from an implanted device that helps prevent heart failure, after new guidance was published by a health body.
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has refreshed its policy so that people with arrhythmias — when the heart beats at irregular speeds — in the lower chambers of the heart are now entitled to cardioverter defibrillators.
People with heart failure have also become eligible for cardiac resynchronisation therapy.
Before the change, 117 people in Oxfordshire were thought to be eligible, now that is set to almost double to 217.
Across the UK 6,000 people could benefit, the Association of British Healthcare Industries (ABHI) said.
It comes after clinical trials found use of the devices at earlier stages in a patient’s condition could improve heart function and reduce hospitalisation by up to 40 per cent.
Professor Carole Longson, of NICE, said: “Heart failure, particularly of the severity covered in this guidance, can profoundly impact on a patient’s quality of life.
“But through working closely with the industry and based on new major clinical trials, we have been able to clearly define which [type] of device is an effective treatment option.”
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