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A 30-year-old member asked:

when is an implantable cardioverter defibrillator used to treat patients with arrhythmias?

3 doctor answers8 doctors weighed in
Dr. Charles Jost
Cardiology 36 years experience
IC + EF btwn 36-40%: When the patient has ischemic cardiomyopathy, ejection fraction between 36-40% with inducible ventricular fibrillation or tachycardia, .
Dr. Warren Foster
Cardiac Electrophysiology 20 years experience
Of course, patients with an ejection fraction < 35%, that doesn't improve, are good candidates as well.
Aug 14, 2014
Dr. Warren Foster
Cardiac Electrophysiology 20 years experience
EF<35%, as well.
Aug 14, 2014
Dr. Jason Rubenstein
Cardiology 20 years experience
It depends: When the risk for cardiac arrest is high enough, a physician may recommend a patient get an icd. This might be for patients with a weak heart, genetic disease (like hocm, long qt, arvd), or someone who has survived a cardiac arrest already.
Dr. Sergio Cossu
Cardiology 33 years experience
Sudden cardiac death: Icd's are utilized in patients who are at risk for sudden cardiac death or ventricular arrhythmias. These can be patients who already have significant structural heart disease or may have already suffered a sudden death episode. Also they are utilized in patient's who have certain familial conditions which may predispose them to sudden death.

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CA
A 24-year-old member asked:

Does getting hit with a tazer hurt someone with an implantable defibrillator?

2 doctor answers7 doctors weighed in
Dr. William Scott
Pediatric Cardiology 39 years experience
No: There is a theoretic risk, but it is small. The device produces a strong current for only a few seconds. The current is not sufficient to damage the icd directly. It could cause the icd to falsely detect an arrhythmia, but not one of sufficient duration to have the icd respond. Reports in humans and experimental testing in animals have not shown significant adverse effects.
A 53-year-old member asked:

How are defibrillators used in the body?

2 doctor answers7 doctors weighed in
Dr. Andrew Kaplan
Cardiology 34 years experience
Terminate arrhythmia: Implantable defibrillators are used in patients who have already experienced or are at risk of experiencing a malignant rhythm problem in the lower chambers of the heart (ventricles). The devices detect the arrhythmias then deliver a series of rapid pacing pulses or one or more shocks to reset the rhythm to normal.
CA
A 37-year-old member asked:

Is there a different way to start the heart if it suddenly stops without using a defibrillator?

2 doctor answers5 doctors weighed in
Dr. Nassir Azimi
Interventional Cardiology 23 years experience
Yes: Occassionally a precordial thump i.E a punch in the left chest can do the job. However, often a defibrillator is needed.
A 31-year-old member asked:

Are there alternatives to an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator?

2 doctor answers3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Charles Jost
Cardiology 36 years experience
See below: Life vest - a wearable cardioverter defibrillator - or medical treatment.
A 24-year-old member asked:

What is the function of an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator?

2 doctor answers6 doctors weighed in
Dr. Louis Grenzer
Cardiology 55 years experience
Shock the heart: The device has the abiltiy to sense when your heart is beating in an abnormal and dangerous way which could lead to you passing out or having your heart stop. It then delivers an electric shock to the heart to convert the abnormal rhythm back to normal. The device also can function as a pacemaker if your heart beat becomes too slow.

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Last updated Feb 24, 2018

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