Understanding ICDs – Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator

An ICD – implantable cardioverter defibrillator – is a pager-sized device placed in your chest which detects and stops abnormal heartbeats (arrhythmias). The ICD continuously monitors your heartbeat and delivers electrical pulses to restore a normal heart rhythm when necessary. In the following video, Dr. Farris Timimi provides background and considerations to help determine if ICD therapy is right for you.

If you have an ICD, do you feel like you have the the equivalent of a paramedic sitting on your shoulder, always ready to “shock” the heart back to normal rhythm and prevent cardiac arrest? Or, are you worried with questions like, “What are the risks of having an ICD implanted?” “What does a shock feel like?” “Will I have to change my lifestyle?”

Hi @barbarajane @cynaburst @cynthiamary @lynnkay1956 @medic7054 @evelyn247 @c410djh @jigglejaws94 @thankfulalways @mpeters @sammysky @bjanderson @jwoj @brittalisse @pfazenbaker @pepper1311 @predictable @thankful @hopeful33250 @harmonybentley @mzhp1988 @lioness @wangs @gibbs @soloact @johnbishop @chica @shortshot80 @gr82balive @martishka @tonyagann @thiles @chipmunk16666 @loli @grandmar @ryman @success101 @dyannne @dfelix @scardycat @dothag @rod1105 @kitzkatz @1943,

I’d like to invite you to join this discussion about ICDs – implantable cardioverter defibrillator. Share your stories about living with an ICD, coping with the challenges, and offering tips. Let’s learn from each other – come say hi and introduce yourself.

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@kanaazpereira

Hi @barbarajane @cynaburst @cynthiamary @lynnkay1956 @medic7054 @evelyn247 @c410djh @jigglejaws94 @thankfulalways @mpeters @sammysky @bjanderson @jwoj @brittalisse @pfazenbaker @pepper1311 @predictable @thankful @hopeful33250 @harmonybentley @mzhp1988 @lioness @wangs @gibbs @soloact @johnbishop @chica @shortshot80 @gr82balive @martishka @tonyagann @thiles @chipmunk16666 @loli @grandmar @ryman @success101 @dyannne @dfelix @scardycat @dothag @rod1105 @kitzkatz @1943,

I’d like to invite you to join this discussion about ICDs – implantable cardioverter defibrillator. Share your stories about living with an ICD, coping with the challenges, and offering tips. Let’s learn from each other – come say hi and introduce yourself.

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Yes, sounds Interresting.
As one with AFib and
Heart failure I read
Your articles, with
Interrest.
Success101

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My daughter who has long QT syndrome had a S-ICD implanted but finally had to have it removed and have a pacemaker implanted in it's place. She was constantly getting shocked by the S-ICD due to what she describes as false readings.

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@bimbus1

Hi..my name is Grace Olaniyan.

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Hi Grace @bimbus1,

I noticed that you had posted some supportive advice, a while ago in the Heart & Blood Health group – I’m glad you’ve joined this discussion, too. Do you have an ICD?

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@johnbishop

My daughter who has long QT syndrome had a S-ICD implanted but finally had to have it removed and have a pacemaker implanted in it's place. She was constantly getting shocked by the S-ICD due to what she describes as false readings.

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Hi @johnbishop,

A reported drawback of subcutaneous implantable cardioverter defibrillators or S-ICD is the potential for generating false positives, or inappropriate shocks. Apparently, this is because of "positional attenuation of the R waves that may activate the device algorithm to increase the amplitude of the cardiac signals, resulting in oversensing of atrial fibrillation waves.”

I thought you might be interested in viewing this article about some advancements in the newer devices.
"S-ICD Sensing Filter At Least Halved Inappropriate Shocks” https://www.medpagetoday.com/meetingcoverage/hrs/72853

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@kanaazpereira

Hi Grace @bimbus1,

I noticed that you had posted some supportive advice, a while ago in the Heart & Blood Health group – I’m glad you’ve joined this discussion, too. Do you have an ICD?

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Yes. I have an ICD

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i have an icd that was placed in 2013. i have a bi ventricular pacemaker . my ventricular tachycardia episodes are due to cardiac sarcoidosis and the scars that damaged my heart and left me with heart failure. Between 2013-2016 i was shocked 5 times. Hooray for technology, saved my life. i had a cardiac ablation in 2016 and everything has been great since then. I do have so e post traumatic stress and anxiety from receiving shocks though.
i recently published a book, My Heart Boo, by Susan Crosby. Its a tool to manage heart failure or other cardiac conditions.
My website is susancrosby.org to learn about my story.

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@lioness I cant say much about the S ICD but I know I would search a good cardiologist who has a lot of experience in putting one in. See how many of these he has done and the outcome of them I wouldn't want one in me and be shocked all the time. But if its your last choice and you need one this is my advice . I had a triple by pass in 96 and so far my arteries are clear and pumping the blood just fine. Kudos to @suscros68 for a successful implant . I'm going to look up your website .

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This is the first time I've heard of such a thing. Of course I'm interested. And I'm going to also look up @suscros68 website.

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@dyannne

This is the first time I've heard of such a thing. Of course I'm interested. And I'm going to also look up @suscros68 website.

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@dyannne Do your research also Read my Post

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@kanaazpereira

Hi @barbarajane @cynaburst @cynthiamary @lynnkay1956 @medic7054 @evelyn247 @c410djh @jigglejaws94 @thankfulalways @mpeters @sammysky @bjanderson @jwoj @brittalisse @pfazenbaker @pepper1311 @predictable @thankful @hopeful33250 @harmonybentley @mzhp1988 @lioness @wangs @gibbs @soloact @johnbishop @chica @shortshot80 @gr82balive @martishka @tonyagann @thiles @chipmunk16666 @loli @grandmar @ryman @success101 @dyannne @dfelix @scardycat @dothag @rod1105 @kitzkatz @1943,

I’d like to invite you to join this discussion about ICDs – implantable cardioverter defibrillator. Share your stories about living with an ICD, coping with the challenges, and offering tips. Let’s learn from each other – come say hi and introduce yourself.

Jump to this post

I had a heart attack when I was 48 and had a couple episodes of v-tachycardia and my ejection fraction severely reduced as a result of my heart attack. As a 'precaution' my cardiologist suggested an ICD. I decided to go ahead with it. The device clinic checks the data it sends and also in person at the clinic to make sure things are functioning correctly. For over five years, it was there 'just in case' it would be needed like automobile air bags. Last fall, the device clinic called me and asked me if I recalled having any issues. They told me the device had shocked my heart and when they told me the time, I said I was sound asleep and didn't remember anything. Then about 4 months later, I was shoveling some heavy wet snow and apparently my heart rate was higher than I realized and then it hit me with its shock. It scared me because this was the first time I actually felt it, and it took me by surprise. The way I describe the feeling to my family is that someone put their fist around my heart and gave it a tight squeeze. Had I not had it ready on standby to go into action when needed, I know I wouldn't be here responding to this thread. So yes, it is uncomfortable, but it happens so quickly it's over by the time you realize what's just happened. The harder part is actually processing what has just happened…my life was spared yet again. After an EKG to double check things, we discovered my heart was in a-fib so I had a procedure done under sedation where they shocked my heart back into normal rhythm. I've learned there are different types of ICD units and they can have multiple wire leads from them to the heart depending on different conditions. Because I only had V-tach at the time of implant, they only felt the need for a single wire lead to my ventricle. When the device battery runs out and will need to be replaced, I'm sure they will look at recent history and determine if more leads are needed or other therapy is warranted. In the meantime, I've still got 4-5 years of batter left (provided it doesn't fire too frequently). Would I do it again, in a heartbeat. Am I scared of it firing again, of course, but now when I'm doing strenuous exercise, I take it slower. Going to be 55 in a couple months and shortly after that we are anxious to welcome our first grandbaby into our family! I have no regrets having had it implanted, it is through that machine and my faith I'm still here. When I go to public buildings and see the external defibulator units hanging on walls, I smile knowing that I've got my own unit to protect me and I won't have to rely on someone knowing what to do to bring my rhythm back to normal.

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