St. Elizabeth Healthcare becomes first in state and region to utilize new device for treating abnormal heart rhythm

Doctors at the Florence Wormald Heart & Vascular Institute at St. Elizabeth Healthcare have achieved a significant milestone by becoming the first in Kentucky and the Greater Cincinnati region to successfully implant the Aurora EV-ICD system. This cutting-edge device is designed to address fast or irregular heartbeats and effectively prevent sudden cardiac arrest. The procedure, which took place on January 12, 2024, was expertly performed by Dr. J. Christian Hays, Director of Cardiac Electrophysiology at St. Elizabeth Healthcare.

Medtronic’s Aurora EV-ICD system received FDA approval in October 2023.

An irregular heartbeat, also known as an arrhythmia, occurs when the heart’s electrical system malfunctions. This condition, referred to as a heart rhythm disorder, can lead to sudden cardiac arrest. To address arrhythmias, doctors implant implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICDs) in the upper chest. These devices utilize thin wires, known as leads, to monitor the heart for any changes in rhythm. If an irregular heartbeat is detected, the leads transmit electrical signals to the heart in order to restore normal heart rhythm.

The Aurora EV-ICD operates differently from traditional ICDs, which involve threading leads through a vein into the heart. Instead, the Aurora EV-ICD system positions its leads outside the heart and veins. By implanting the Aurora EV-ICD below the left armpit and placing the leads beneath the breastbone, the device can constantly monitor an individual’s heartbeat. If any irregularities or excessive heart rates are detected, the device sends an electrical signal through the leads to the heart, effectively correcting the heart rate. In cases where a fast heartbeat persists, the Aurora EV-ICD can administer an electric shock to reset the heart rhythm to a normal pace.

The St. Elizabeth team has accomplished a significant milestone in the field of cardiovascular care.


According to Dr. Hays, the Aurora EV-ICD is not only highly effective but may also offer a safer alternative to traditional ICDs. Dr. Hays explains that the Aurora EV-ICD is an extravascular ICD that comes with Antitachycardial pacing (ATP) and post-shock pacing capabilities. He proudly states, “We are the pioneers in Kentucky, Indiana, and certainly Cincinnati to implant this groundbreaking life-saving technology.”

The Aurora EV-ICD holds great promise as a treatment option for individuals diagnosed with arrhythmias, such as tachycardia or heart failure. Moreover, it is highly recommended for those who have experienced a heart attack or previous sudden cardiac arrest.

“We are thrilled to be the pioneers in Kentucky and the Greater Cincinnati region, bringing this innovative device to our patients,” expressed Dr. D.P. Suresh, the Executive Medical Director of the Florence Wormald Heart & Vascular Institute at St. Elizabeth. He further emphasized the importance of providing all possible life-saving solutions to their community.

To find out more about the cardiology services provided at St. Elizabeth Healthcare, please feel free to get in touch with us at 859-331-3353.

St. Elizabeth Healthcare becomes the first in the state and the region to successfully implant a groundbreaking device for the treatment of abnormal heart rhythm. This achievement marks a significant milestone in the field of cardiology. The news was reported by NKyTribune, highlighting the hospital’s commitment to pioneering advancements in healthcare.

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