To save one life is as if to save the world.

- The Talmud

ICDs and End of Life- What should we know?

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bychowskym
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I have an ICD which was implanted 3 1/2 years ago following my cardiac event. My husband just came across this article today on MSNBC and I wanted to know if an ICD can repeatedly deliver shocks in end of life situations as explained within the article? If so, what do we (those with ICDs), need to know, so that we can prepare, and plan accordingly if we find ourselves in an end of life situation in order to prevent our ICDs from continuously firing? There are recommendations in the article, but wanted to come to the experts for advice.
Thanks and looking forward to your feedback.

http://vitals.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2011/10/07/8212715-shocking-ending-imp...

chocsarlab
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Emergency rooms have a power

Emergency rooms have a power magnet that they can place over the ICD which will stop the firing. I would talk to your cardiologist and explain your concerns. Additionally, talk with your family and have a plan in case something happens they are able to speak with rescue personnel.

GenericBox
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My Aunt died 2 years ago from

My Aunt died 2 years ago from complications with her heart disease.

She died after just going into the hospital for feinting and was told she would be released that day. However in the afternoon, quite suddenly, she passed away.

Luckily we had a few hours notice so we got our family in to say goodbyes (apparently the Doctor new it was a sure thing at about midday).

Anyway, this was a non-emergency situation, we were in a standard hospital ward, but they had a large electromagnet that they placed over her device.

I had a Sudden Cardiac Arrest leading to Sudden Cardiac Death 2 years prior (now 4 years ago), and I was implanted with an ICD. I imagine the same will need to be done when I die again for good.

I am only 25 though so hopefully not for at least another 50 years :)

Hope that helps.

It was a very peaceful death in the sense that the presence of the magnet didn't cause any harm or distress -- from my understand it merely disrupts/turns off the ICD underneath it.