Atrial fibrillation, also known as AFib, happens when your normal heart beat or rhythm is changed and may not be able to pump enough blood. About 1% of Americans have AFib.
Millions of people with long-lasting AFib live quite well, said Gordon F. Tomaselli, MD, director of the Division of Cardiology at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and a past president of the American Heart Association. "It's very possible to live a normal life for many years."
If you or someone you know has been...
Ask your doctor what you should do if you receive a shock from your
ICD while traveling.
Bring your cardiac device identification card with you. These cards are usually given to
people after they first have the device put in. They contain information about
the specific type of device that you have, when it was put in, and your
doctor's name and phone number.
Airport security, pacemakers, and ICDs
It is not likely that the airport security systems will affect your pacemaker or ICD. These include the walk-through metal detectors, hand-held wands, or the full-body imaging scanners. But your device could set off a metal detector alarm.
If you have a cardiac device, follow these tips at airport security:
Before you pass through a metal detector, tell the security guards that
you have a pacemaker or ICD, and show them your device identification card.
Walk through airport security
or anti-theft gates at a normal pace. Also, don't stand near or lean against
the gates or archway. These practices will lower the risk of temporary effects on your device from the screening equipment.
If you must be searched, ask the
security guard for a hand search.
The handheld security wand should not be used, because it contains a strong
magnet that can affect your pacemaker or ICD.
But if the handheld wand must be used, it should
not be held over your pacemaker or ICD for a long period of time. The security
guard should keep the wand at least
12 in. (30 cm) away from your
pacemaker or ICD.
If your device sets off a security alarm, show
your device ID card.
If you feel any symptoms when you are in the security area, move away from the equipment. Your device should go back to its normal function. Symptoms may include dizziness or a fast heart rate.
In this article
This information is produced and provided by the National
Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National
Institute via the Internet web site at http://
.gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
March 12, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor.
Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this