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Cardiology Services

Implantable Cardiac (ICD) Defibrillator

An Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (ICD) is a small electronic device placed permanently inside your body. You may be given an ICD if you have had a cardiac arrest or if you have a fast heart rhythm problem that could lead to cardiac arrest. The ICD continuously monitors your heart rhythm (the speed and pattern of your heartbeat) and if the ICD senses a dangerous heart rhythm, it can send out one or more electrical shocks to return the heart to its normal rhythm. Lifelong monitoring is necessary to be sure that your ICD continues working correctly and to check for any further changes in your
heart rhythm.

AICD Support Groups
Support Group Schedules
 

Frequently Asked Questions

Does it matter what I eat & drink if I take Coumadin®?
Yes. When taking an oral “blood thinner” medication like Coumadin® , the high amounts of Vitamin K in leafy green vegetables can counteract it. While taking Coumadin® your doctor will check your blood periodically to see how well the medication is working. Do not eat kale, parsley or natto (a Japanese dish). You may eat one serving (1/2 cup cooked) of one of these foods each day: spinach, turnip greens, leafy greens, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts. Do not take any herbal supplements that may keep your blood from clotting such as: garlic, ginger, gingko biloba, ginseng and feverfew. Tell your doctor if you are taking any of these herbal supplements.

Do not take any vitamin supplements that provide more than 100% of the recommended daily allowance (RDA). Tell your doctor if you are taking any vitamins (especially Vitamins A, C, or E).

Avoid chronic heavy drinking of alcohol (i.e. more than 2 oz. of liquor, 10oz. of wine, or 24 oz. of beer per day).

How long will it be before I can exercise again?
You should be able to exercise six weeks after your ICD is implanted, but always check with your doctor first.

When can I begin driving again?
Every state is different, but the state of New Hampshire recommends that you do not drive for 3 months after your ICD is implanted. Discuss this with your doctor.

What do I do when I have an event?
You may occasionally feel a fast heart rate. If you do, sit or lie down put your feet up and have someone stay with you for 15 minutes. If the ICD goes off, you will feel a thump (feels like a strong kick) in the chest. If you have an event and feel okay afterward, let your doctor or office nurse know.
Call 911 when:
• You still feel symptoms after the shock.
• You feel 3 or more shocks in a row.
• Your symptoms don't go away and you feel no shock.


Can I use a cellular phone?
A cellular phone can affect your ICD if the phone is held too close. When using a cellular phone hold it to the ear farthest from your ICD.

When can I return to work?
You can return to work when your doctor says it's okay, sometimes in just a few weeks.