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Girl who choked on chip gets defibrillator

An undated file photo of Alana Kiceina, 10,

An undated file photo of Alana Kiceina, 10, who has been upgraded to good condition at Stony Brook University Hospital after she went into cardiac arrest on the front lawn of her Mastic home on April 25, 2012. Credit: Handout

The Mastic girl who collapsed after choking on a chip underwent successful surgery Thursday to get a defibrillator that would help stabilize any irregular heartbeats, a hospital official said Thursday.

Alana Kiceina's operation at The Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan started at 2 p.m. and lasted 90 minutes, a hospital spokeswoman said.

"It went well," said a statement from the hospital.

It was the eve of Alana's 11th birthday, and her father, Alan, told Newsday earlier that he hoped she'd be home for her birthday on Friday.

She had collapsed on the front lawn of her home last week Wednesday while chasing the family dog and eating tortilla chips. She went into cardiac arrest and was rushed to Stony Brook Long Island Children's Hospital, where she was in critical condition for a few days and later upgraded to good condition.

On Tuesday, Alana was transferred to the Manhattan hospital for the surgery.

"The doctors weren't happy that she choked and that was just it," her father had said earlier this week. "They wanted to make sure it wasn't something else. They believe there may have been some other event, so we'll put in the defibrillator . . . so this doesn't happen again."

The family could not be reached for comment Thursday evening.

Kiceina had said doctors were not certain whether there was an underlying condition that might have contributed to the girl's collapse.

The heart has an electrical system that tells it when to beat. The father said doctors thought a problem with the electrical system could have caused Alana to lose consciousness and had suggested implanting the defibrillator.


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