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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

I think I hit a Cyberonics nerve today?



I think I hit a Cyberonics nerve today?  I responded earlier in the day to the above topic on Cyberonics Facebook page.  They removed my comment.

As best I could remember I posted:

This is a very good topic and one which should also be read by the “Unwanted stepchildren of Cyberonics” the depression patients.  Although the swiping of the magnet does not really apply to the depression patients the fact the magnet placed over the prosthesis and held in place will deactivate the device applies to both epilepsy and depression patients.

What Cyberonics also does not address and that which I recently learned from another depression patient was the fact that Cyberonics would not answer the patient’s doctor when asked about deactivating the device for ECT.  What I can share from my own knowledge and experiences as a long-time support person for Joyce is that ECT is a reasonably safe adjunctive treatment for a VNS patient provided the attending physician tapes the magnet in place directly over the prosthesis prior to administering ECT.  Once the ECT procedure is completed the magnet could then be removed and the device should immediately reactivate and resume its normal 24/7/365 cycle.

Cyberonics also does not address the issue of a lost, stolen or broken magnet.  At one time Cyberonics did replace the magnets free of charge.  I do not know Cyberonics current policy.  I think the site administrator is better qualified to answer that question.  I also know that both the epilepsy and depression patients could Google “cow magnets” which from my readings work just as well and are relatively inexpensive.

From my readings the subject of cardiac arrest and the use of the magnet should also have been addressed.  What I’ve learned is that “SAVING A LIFE COMES FIRST” and if defibrillation of the patient is necessary “SAVE A LIFE” and do not worry about the magnet and deactivating the prosthesis.  If the VNS is fried so be it.  The VNS can be replaced; the individual cannot.

I would also like to suggest to the Cyberonics Facebook site administrator discussing the topic of “Warnings and Precautions”.  Too often patients and/or their support persons do not carefully read the manuals.  This is a topic that both epilepsy and depression patients should be reasonably knowledgeable about for safety purposes.

That’s the extent of my transgression(s).



Joyce and Herbert Stein

1008 Trailmore Lane

Weston, FL 33326-2816

(954) 349-8733

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