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What does it feel like to have an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD)?

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You may or may not notice when your ICD detects and corrects your heart rhythm. Often it depends on the type of therapy you get.

  • Pacing. You may or may not feel the impulses -- usually they aren't detectable.
  • Defibrillation. The shock feels like a kick in the chest but only lasts for a moment. Some people describe the sensation as feeling like a shock from an electrical outlet.

SOURCES: American Heart Association.

Reviewed by James Beckerman on February 4, 2019

SOURCES: American Heart Association.

Reviewed by James Beckerman on February 4, 2019

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What should I do if I get shocked by my implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD)?

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