FAQ: Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillators
An implantable defibrillator (ICD) is most commonly used as part of a patient’s treatment for a disturbed heart rhythm. In the future, ICDs that can be used for patients with other rhythm problems will be available. The ICD delivers a shock to prevent a dangerously fast heart rhythm.
Batteries power implantable cardioverter defibrillators, which are much easier to implant than they were a few years ago. The incision is usually small u2014 three or four inches wide u2014 and runs horizontally across the chest. If an ICD delivers a lot of shocks, it will wear out sooner than one that doesn’t. Most ICDs last five years or more.
Does the shock from an ICD hurt?
The ICD may deliver a higher-energy shock for more serious heart rhythm problems; this shock can be painful, making you feel as if you’ve been kicked in the chest; however, the pain usually lasts only a second, and there should be no discomfort after the shock ends.
What happens if you get shocked by a defibrillator?
Answer: If you’re wide awake, a defibrillator shock will indeed hurt; it’s like being kicked in the chest by a mule, and it’s a sudden jolt.
What are the side effects of a heart defibrillator shock?
Plan of Action
|Received ICD shock||Feel fine immediately|
|Received ICD shock||Experiencing chest pain /pressure, shortness of breath, rapid heart action. Feel dizzy, confused, or not well|
|Received two or more ICD shocks within 24 hours||Feel fine or ill|
What should I do if my ICD shocks me?
If you feel bad or have symptoms like chest pain, call 911 or other emergency services right away. If you feel fine right away after the shock, call your doctor right away. Your doctor may want to discuss the shock and schedule a follow-up visit.
Does an ICD shock damage the heart?
It’s possible that ICD shocks are merely a symptom of underlying disease progression rather than the cause; however, it’s also possible that ICD shocks cause direct myocardial damage, resulting in a decrease in heart function.
What is the life expectancy of someone with an ICD?
Living with a Pacemaker or an Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (ICD) Pacemakers and ICDs can last 5 to 7 years or longer, depending on usage and device type, and you can usually lead a normal life with one.
Can you still die with a defibrillator?
Although implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICDs) have been shown to save lives in a variety of patient groups for both primary and secondary prevention, everyone will die eventually, whether from underlying heart disease or another terminal illness such as cancer.
Can a defibrillator shock you?
Defibrillators are small devices that monitor every heartbeat and deliver a life-saving shock to a patient who has gone into cardiac arrest. However, these shocks can sometimes occur for the wrong reasons u2014 and do so at an alarmingly high rate.
Can you get a shock from a defibrillator?
Many patients may experience an increase in health-care needs as a result of shock from an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD), regardless of whether the shock was necessary or not. Whether the shock was necessary or not, patients frequently underwent invasive cardiac procedures afterward.
Can you have a heart attack with a defibrillator?
A defibrillator implanted in your chest will not prevent you from having a heart attack.
How do you sleep with a defibrillator?
If you have a defibrillator implanted, sleep on the opposite side; most defibrillators are implanted on the left side, so sleeping on the right side may be more comfortable.
Can you drink alcohol with a defibrillator?
If the lifestyle change fails, exhausting all therapeutic options will only slightly improve the arrhythmia. We advise ICD patients who do not drink alcohol to continue abstinence and not to drink alcohol solely to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
How many shocks can an ICD deliver?
An ICD is usually set to give a maximum of five to eight shocks for any given event. This image depicts a person’s heart rhythm in ventricular fibrillation, and the ICD delivers an electrical shock to restore normal heart rhythm.