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From: "Steve Harris" <>
Subject: Re: Dick Cheney's heart's device - isn't 600V dangerous?
Date: Sun, 8 Jul 2001 05:31:46 -0600

"PF Riley" <> wrote in message
> On Sun, 01 Jul 2001 10:34:20 -0400, Anonymous
> <anonymous@anonymous.anonymous> wrote:
> >I saw the news about Dick Cheney's implanted
> >heart's device.   They said that it delivers an
> >electric shock of 600V in certain cases.
> >Isn't that dangerous?
> Depends on what you mean by dangerous. The electric shock is supposed
> to stop the heart. That could be dangerous. But the idea behind this
> device is that it zaps you when your heart is in a lethal rhythm, so
> that the heart stops, has time to get its act together, and then
> starts beating again at a regular rhythm. Not zapping a fibrillating
> heart is what's dangerous.

It would be better to think of this as rather "resetting" the heart, since
the amount of time it's stopped is not long in comparison to the time a
heart can be stopped for a skipped beat.

It's very difficult to stop a heart permanently with D.C.  Rather, in
computer terms, a D.C. zap just gives you a very fast reboot when your heart
is "locked up."

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