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[June 14, 2010]

Use of Smaller, More Powerful Implantable Defibrillators at SUNY Downstate Advances Patient Care:

New Devices Deliver Higher Energy and Greater Safety

To help patients with abnormal heart rhythms that put them at risk for sudden death, SUNY Downstate Medical Center is offering two new devices that can help restore a healthy heartbeat. Recently approved by the Food and Drug Administration, the implantable cardiac defibrillators are smaller and more powerful than previous models, and safer too. SUNY Downstate is the first medical center in Brooklyn to adopt their use.

“I am very pleased that we are offering these advances to our patients,” said John T. Kassotis, MD, associate professor of medicine and director of the Clinical Cardiac Electrophysiology Laboratory at Downstate. “Both of these devices are improvements over older technology and offer significant benefits to our patients.” 

According to the manufacturer, St. Jude Medical, Inc., the Unify™ cardiac resynchronization therapy defibrillator (CRT-D) and Fortify™ implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) can deliver the highest energy of any defibrillator available today. The company maintains that they are more effective than earlier devices, especially for patients who need a big energy boost to correct their heart rhythm, and that they provide greater safety than earlier models owing to their longer battery life.

Another bonus is the devices’ smaller size and narrow design. This allows operators to make a smaller incision for insertion, resulting in less time suturing and reduced scarring for the patient.

Those wishing more information may call 718-270-4147. 


SUNY Downstate Medical Center, founded in 1860, was the first medical school in the United States to bring teaching out of the lecture hall and to the patient’s bedside. A center of innovation and excellence in research and clinical service delivery, SUNY Downstate Medical Center comprises a College of Medicine, Colleges of Nursing and Health Related Professions, a School of Graduate Studies, a School of Public Health, University Hospital of Brooklyn, and an Advanced Biotechnology Park and Biotechnology Incubator.

SUNY Downstate ranks eighth nationally in the number of alumni who are on the faculty of American medical schools. More physicians practicing in New York City have graduated from SUNY Downstate than from any other medical school.