Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator ( ICD)


No lifting your arm over your head on the side the ICD was inserted for 2 weeks. No lifting, pushing or pulling more than 10 pounds for 6 weeks. No golf for 6 weeks. Keep area dry for 48 hours. After that, you may shower but do not scrub the area. No submerging or swimming until healed.

No Driving until cleared by physician.

Most things you handle or work around on a daily basis are not going to influence your ICD system. However, your ICD is sensitive to strong electrical or magnetic fields. Your ICD may make a sound if you are too close to a magnet with a beep or tone, move away from the object immediately and call your doctor. Keep the following things 12 inches away from your ICD: Stereo speakers that are in large stereo systems, transistor radios, "boom boxes", strong magnets, magnetic wands used in airports and bingo games, industrial equipment, generators and arc welders. Also avoid standing near electrical motors while they are running. Avoid remaining near anti-theft devices in doorways of buildings; walk through them at a normal pace. Have airport security hand search you. Keep away from MRI machines. If you need surgery, notify the surgeon in addition to your cardiologist if electrocautery will be used. Avoid TENS units or muscular stimulation units.

You should check with the manufacturer before using radio frequency transmitters or remote controlled transmitters used for toy cars and airplanes.

If You Feel A Shock

If you receive a shock, this means your ICD is working; this is what it is supposed to do. After the ICD shock, call your cardiologist. If the shock occurs at night, you can wait until morning to call unless you have consecutive shocks.

If The ICD Gives You 2 or More Consecutive Shocks, Seek Immediate Medical Attention

Remain calm and have someone be prepared to call an ambulance should you become unconscious. (Since you have an ICD, your family should learn CPR (CardioPulmonary Resuscitation). Call your local first aid station or The American Heart Association).

ICD support groups are available at Jersey Shore University Medical Center. Call Nancy Bowe at 732-115-5500 ext. 5249.

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