Tackling both the mechanical and electrical problems of a failing heart, the Hadassah Heart Institute’s Electrophysiology team has introduced a new technology which enhances blood circulation, prevents sudden cardiac death, and alleviates a patient’s shortness of breath.

The innovation involves the implantation of a cardiac resynchronization defibrillator (CTR-D) under the patient’s skin. Attached to three leads that are placed in specific locations in both the right and left sides of the heart, the device stimulates the failing left heart to beat simultaneously with the right, improving blood circulation. Since the device is also a defibrillator, it is capable of giving the heart a life-saving electric shock if the patient’s heart rhythms reach a dangerous level.

Last month, an 84-year-old retired rabbi from New York underwent CRT-D implantation at Hadassah. Immediately, his breathing and heart function improved. At his follow-up visit, he glowingly reported that he can now easily accomplish the morning walk to synagogue that had been unimaginable just a week before.