It turns out that many patients outfitted with a heart defibrillator to regulate their heartbeat do not even need them. The defibrillators work by emitting an electric shock to the heart when it senses an abnormal rhythm but in many cases patients apparently do not need the extra help.
The Duke University study looked at 112,000 patients all of whom had recently either had a heart attack or undergone heart surgery. Believe it or not these patients who fall into one of these categories are not supposed to be outfitted with defibrillators, but many of them were actually given the devices. Read more on this study in the current issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.