The Facts About Defibrillators
A defibrillator, or implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD), is the common term for the medical device which detects and corrects fast and slow heart rates. This differs from a pacemaker, which is used for slow heart rates only.
The human nervous system controls the heart muscle’s pumping action through electrical signals. Many people have certain heart conditions which result in a change of blood flow that is too fast or too slow. The pager-sized defibrillator includes thin wires, or leads, that detect these changes in heart rate and carry an electrical charge to return the heart to normal rhythm. Hundreds of thousands of patients live a normal life and are saved each year with defibrillators and the immediate correction they provide.
Even with a defibrillator, patients with heart conditions should be prepared. Here are some precautions to consider:
- Carry your ICD identification card
- Carry a list of medications and dosages
- Keep emergency phone numbers on hand
- Know what to do when the ICD delivers a shock
- Inform significant co-workers, traveling companions, etc., of the ICD
- When traveling by air, inform airline security personnel of the ICD
- Encourage family members to take a CPR course
Jumpstarters is a support group for patients with defibrillators. Once a month, several nurses and a physician facilitate a gathering of the group. The purpose is to share information about living with an ICD and related health/social issues. Jumpstarters meets on the third Tuesday of every month (except December through February), at either The Christ Hospital or The Jewish Hospital.
Healthy Living Article List
|For Women||For Seniors||Fighting Cancer||Your Heart||Emergency 101|
|Work Smart||Bones, Muscles and Joints||Nutrition News||Advice From Our Docs|