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Medtronic links device for heart to 13 deaths

New York Times, March 16, 2009

Medtronic has announced that at least 13 people might have died in connection with a heart device that it recalled in 2007 but was still in widespread use, including four patients whose deaths were related to efforts by doctors to surgically remove the product. The new data reflect the first fatality update by Medtronic since October 2007, when it recalled the device—a thin electrical cable that connects an implanted defibrillator to a patient's heart. The company cited five deaths when it recalled the product, saying fractures in the cable could cause a defibrillator to fail to deliver a lifesaving shock to an erratically beating heart, or to fire for no reason.