If your heartbeat is out of whack from atrial fibrillation and medicine doesn't help, your doctor might suggest two high-tech solutions.
He may try to get your ticker's rhythm back in the right groove with a procedure called ablation. Or he may put a pacemaker in your chest -- a device that sends out pulses to keep your heartbeat on track. Some people need both methods.
Your doctor can help you decide which treatment is right for you, but learn as much as you can about the pros and cons. It will...
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.
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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
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