Underweight patients or those small in stature are twice as likely to experience complications or die during insertion of an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) compared to obese and normal-weight patients. That is the conclusion of a report by researchers at the University of California, San Francisco.
The investigators examined the records of more than 83,000 cases; the first large-scale study to investigate how body size may influence patient outcomes following ICD implantation. Based on based on low body mass index (BMI), smaller patients had longer stays, more complications, and increased mortality risk during or shortly after implantation.
According to the researchers, clinicians could alter their approach to accessing the chest cavity to reduce the risk of a collapsed lung, hold anticoagulation medications it reduce the risk of bleeding, or use compression bandages to prevent blood from collecting in the implantation pocket.