Implantable Cardioverter-Defibrillator (ICD) - Topic Overview
Know how to be safe when exercising
Ask your doctor what sort of activity and intensity is safe for you. Talk with your doctor about what you need to know before exercising with an ICD. Follow exercise safety tips, such as one that says to stop exercising if you feel dizzy or lightheaded.
It is important to keep your regular follow-up
appointments with your doctor. He or she will check the device to see whether
it has delivered any shocks since your last visit. This will help your doctor know
if your medicines need to be adjusted. During your follow-up visits, your
doctor will also check the battery and replace it at regular intervals.
Your doctor and/or the device maker will contact you about what to do if your device is recalled.
When to call a doctor
Call your doctor right away if you have symptoms that could mean your device is not working properly, such as:
- Your heartbeat is very fast or slow, skipping, or fluttering.
- You feel dizzy, lightheaded, or faint.
- You have shortness of breath that is new or getting worse.
After an ICD shock
Be sure you have a plan for what to do if you get a shock. Talk to your doctor if you are not sure. In general, your plan depends on how you feel after you get a shock and how many times you get a shock.
After one shock:
- Call 911 or other emergency services immediately if you feel bad or have symptoms like chest pain.
- Call your doctor soon if you feel fine right way. Your doctor may want to talk about the shock and schedule a follow-up visit.
After a second shock within 24 hours:
- Call your doctor immediately, even if you feel fine right away.
Infection near the ICD
Call your doctor right away if you think you have an infection near your ICD. Signs of an infection include: