People in the UK are getting an average of more than one new cardiac device a month, with the latest to arrive on Christmas Day.
The latest version of the UK’s emergency cardiac service (ECS) said the number of new devices had more than doubled in the past three years.
There are around 4,000 new cardiac devices in use in the country, according to ECS, which works to monitor and help patients survive the complications caused by cardiac events.
It said the devices were being issued to people who had experienced a cardiac event and needed help.
It also said that people could be given a prescription to have the device inserted, or that it could be replaced if the person became “more symptomatic”.
It added that the latest version was “significantly improved” over the previous one, which had seen the device issue around 1,200 cases in 2015.
But the Royal College of Emergency Physicians (RCEP) called for a rethink on the use of the devices.
The group said there was no evidence to suggest they were effective in treating heart attacks.
“We need to think seriously about the benefits and risks of pacemakers,” it said.
“Pacemakers do not provide any meaningful risk reduction and are often unsuitable for people with heart conditions.”
Patients should always be advised about the possibility of having a pacemaker, and not given any information that would lead them to believe they could stop the disease.
“These devices may also increase the risk of infection.”
In March, the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) said it was working with emergency departments to improve their response to pacemaking.
But it also warned that pacemapers were not always the best way to save patients.
“The most common reasons for pacemaker failure include: poor use of care, improper insertion of the device, or faulty or incomplete treatment,” the RPS said.
This article first appeared on The Conversation.