GUIDANT PACEMAKER June 8, 2005If you or a loved one has a Guidant Pacemaker, CONTACT YOUR DOCTOR IMMEDIATELY! The manufacturer of Guidant Pacemaker was aware that its defibrillators, small devices implanted in the chest that shock the heart back to normal when its beat becomes irregular, were short-circuiting at the rate of about one a month.Malfunctioning heart devices mean the difference between life and death for patients, yet Guidant executives only acknowledged defects with multiple heart devices when the New York Times was to publicly reveal the defects in an article the next day, according to the New England Journal of Medicine.As early as February 2002, Guidant corporate executives knew that their implantable heart defibrillators were short-circuiting. Yet, they alerted no one, and that same year Joshua Oukrop of Minnesota had Guidant’s defective Ventak Prizm 2 defibrillator implanted. Joshua was an active college student, studying to be a teacher. He loved to hike, snowboard and bicycle.Joshua’s doctors say that had Guidant executives been forthcoming, they could have replaced Joshua’s defibrillator. Instead, in March 2005 Joshua died when his defibrillator short-circuited.For the more than 26,000 patients that still have recalled heart devices implanted, the horror is far from over. They must now decide whether to have life-threatening cardiac surgery or live with the knowledge that their heart devices could fail when they need them.Harrell & Harrell, P.A., is currently investigating claims involving pacemakers manufactured by Guidant, please contact us.