Questions to Ask When Considering an Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator

Questions Considering

and Health

Deciding to be fitted with an Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (ICD) is an important and difficult decision for many people. To make sure that you make the best choice for your health needs and goals, it is important to consider carefully all the risks and benefits this device can bring. To help you make the best decision, here are some essential questions to ask when considering an ICD.

What is an ICD?

An Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (ICD) is a small electronic device inserted under the skin, usually near the collarbone. It is designed to prevent sudden cardiac arrest by monitoring your heart rhythm and delivering energy to the heart to maintain normal rhythm if detected abnormal heart rhythm.

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What risks are associated with an ICD?

When considering an ICD, it is important to consider the potential risks associated with the device. These may include infection, a risk of device failure, device movement or displacement, and potential damage to tissue or organs due to the electric shock delivered by the device.

What benefits does an ICD offer?

The potential benefits of an ICD include improved heart health and longer life expectancy. It has been shown to reduce the risk of sudden cardiac arrest and the associated mortality rate. An ICD can reduce the symptoms of abnormal heart rhythm and improve quality of life for those who have been diagnosed with an arrhythmia.

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What lifestyle considerations should be taken into account?

When considering an ICD, it is important to also look at lifestyle factors that may affect the effectiveness of the device. Physical activity, such as vigorous sporting activities and contact sports, should be avoided. This is because the ICD may be damaged or dislodged by the motion of the body during these activities. Additionally, magnetic fields, including those generated by medical equipment and other electronic devices, can interfere with the performance of the ICD.

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What other questions should I be asking?

It is always important to ask your doctor any questions you may have about getting an ICD. You should discuss any possible side effects, risks, and potential complications. Also, enquire as to how often you need to be checked for device monitoring and maintenance.

Deciding to have an Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator fitted is an important personal decision. It is important to ask all the necessary questions before committing to the device in order to ensure that you are making the right decision for you and your health.

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