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Doctor insights on: How Does An Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator Function

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How does an implantable cardioverter defibrillator function?

How does an implantable cardioverter defibrillator function?

Defibrillators: The device has an antenna that monitors the electrical activity of the heart. If the recorded parameters fit those of ventricular tachycardia or ventricular fibrillation, the device will charge its capacitor and deliver programmed shocks to try and return the rhythm to normal. It is a computer and programmed to do its functions. They are very effective but not perfect. ...Read more

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Dr. Liviu Klein
56 doctors shared insights

Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (Definition)

An implantable cardioverter defibrillator, or icd, is a small device that can automatically detect abnormally fast heart rhythms and stop them with a rapid pulse of paced beats or a shock. It monitors the heart rate and delivers the treatment through special wires, or leads, that may be attached to the inside or outside of the heart or placed under the skin. Most icds ...Read more


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What is the function of an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator?

What is the function of an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator?

Terminate arrhythmia: These are devices which may detect and automatically treat malignant (life-threatening) arrhythmias. Those include ventricular tachycardia and ventricular fibrillation. They use either bursts of rapid pacing or one or more high energy shocks. Patients receive these either after an arrhythmic event or prophylactically because they are at risk for these arrhythmias. ...Read more

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How did the earlier versions of the implantable cardioverter-defibrillator function?

How did the earlier versions of the implantable cardioverter-defibrillator function?

I Agree, and...: I agree with dr. Hahn's answer and would add that the earlier devices used an electrical pulse which is inferior to the one currently used. The result was that more energy was required for a successful shock and more patients could not be successfully shocked out of a dangerous rhythm on the first attempt. The earlier devices also had no ability to tell safe from dangerous rhythms. ...Read more

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What is an implantable cardioverter defibrillator?

What is an implantable cardioverter defibrillator?

Life saver: An implantable cardioverter defibrillator (icd) system has leads (wires) that are inserted through the veins under the collarbone and threaded to the heart. The leads are attached to a box that goes under the skin. The box has a computer that continuously monitors the signals from your heart for a dangerous arrhythmia. If this occurs, the icd stops the arrhythmia by delivering an internal shock. ...Read more

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Is an implantable cardioverter defibrillator usually efficient?

Yes: Implanted cardioverter defibrillators (icds) are the most effective treatment in terminating dangerous arrhythmias. Icds are not 100% effective, but are significantly better than medication alone. ...Read more

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Are there alternatives to an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator?

Usually not: The indications for icd placement indicate it should not be performed if there is are reversible causes. In all of the trials comparing icd therapy to alternatives in the absence of a reversible cause, the outcome with icd was much better. ...Read more

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What can I expect from using an 'implantable cardioverter defibrillator'?

What can I expect from using an 'implantable cardioverter defibrillator'?

Palpitations, jolt: If your heart has a serious rhythm problem, the device should intercede to correct it. When that happens, you may feel palpitations or a jolt in your chest. If the defibrillator didn't intervene, you might never feel anything again! ...Read more

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What conditions can be treated with an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator?

Arrhythmias: An implantable cardioverter defibrillator (icd) is primarily used to treat abnormally rapid heart rates that are considered to be life threatening. The most common of these conditions are ventricular tachycardia and ventricular fibrillation. These devices can also act as pacemakers to treat low heart rates, but this is a secondary function. ...Read more

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Can you do physical exercise if you have an implantable cardioverter defibrillator?

I Agree, and...: I agree with dr. Wright, and would add that we generally discourage contact sports which may directly impact the device such as boxing, tackle football, and hard-check basketball. Though quite rare, very forceful impact has the potential to destabilize the connection between the leads (wires) and the device, or even damage the wires themselves. ...Read more

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Dr. Melissa Gowans
1 doctor shared a insight

Defibrillator (Definition)

Defibrillation is a common treatment for life-threatening cardiac dysrhythmias, ventricular fibrillation, and pulseless ventricular tachycardia. Defibrillation consists of delivering a therapeutic dose of electrical energy to the affected heart with a ...Read more