Southside Hospital Is First in Suffolk County to Implant New Defibrillator that Protects Against Sudden Cardiac Arrest

BAY SHORE, NY – The North Shore-LIJ Health System announced today that the new Boston Scientific device that treats dangerously rapid heartbeats without touching the patient’s heart or blood vessels was implanted in the first patient in Suffolk County at Southside Hospital on Dec. 27.
Dante Laurino, 64, of Brightwaters, had a procedure to implant stents to open blocked arteries about two years ago but his heart muscle function remained depressed. Erik Altman, MD, chief of electrophysiology at Southside Hospital, recommended the use of a new heart device, called a subcutaneous implantable defibrillator or S-ICD™ System. Mr. Laurino works for a company that purifies water and was involved in the clean-up effort after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010. He frequently travels for his job and looks forward to returning to his busy work schedule.

 The defibrillator is placed outside the patient’s rib cage and no wires are implanted inside the heart or blood vessels. Previous defibrillator models required the insertion of wires in the patient’s blood vessels and heart. With the absence of wires in this area, patients have less of a chance of infection to the heart and blood vessels and less chance of damage to the wires from wear and tear within the body. A less invasive procedure, patients can potentially leave the hospital the same day. Prior to the implantation, Mr. Laurino had a blood stream infection; Dr. Altman recommended this device because it is less likely to cause a blood infection.

 “This device is revolutionizing the way we treat patients with arrhythmias and weakened heart muscles because it offers them an alternative with lower risk of infection to the heart and blood vessels while providing the same level of protection,” explained Dr. Altman, who implanted the first device in Suffolk County. “For people who may have issues with their blood vessels, such as dialysis patients, this technology allows their blood vessels to remain available for other functions. This is also a solution for those patients who are prone to having defibrillator wires break while in their body from pressure placed on them by bones and muscles. The S-ICD System is placed below the skin, where there is less mechanical stress on the wire.” 

 “To be eligible for an implantable defibrillator, a person must have weakened heart muscle function that is 35 percent or lower or have had a life-threatening irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia),” said Dr. Altman. “The patient receiving this device should not have a pacemaker indication such as a slow heartbeat,” he added. 

Other North Shore-LIJ Health System facilities that have already implanted this device are: North Shore University Hospital in Manhassset, LIJ Medical Center in New Hyde Park and Lenox Hill Hospital in Manhattan.

To contact Southside Hospital’s cardiology department, call 631-591-7400.

About North Shore-LIJ:
One of the nation's largest health systems, North Shore-LIJ delivers world-class clinical care throughout the New York metropolitan area, pioneering research at The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research and a visionary approach to medical education highlighted by the Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine. North Shore-LIJ cares for people at every stage of life at 16 hospitals and nearly 400 outpatient physician practices throughout the region. North Shore-LIJ’s owned hospitals and long-term care facilities house more than 6,000 beds, employ more than 10,000 nurses and have affiliations with more than 9,400 physicians. With a workforce of more than 47,000, North Shore-LIJ is the largest private employer in New York State.  For more information, go to

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