Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is a devastating event for its victims and their families, with only a small number of survivors. Less than half of the 25 to 50 percent of people whose hearts can be started again survive to leave the hospital because prolonged time without blood flow to the brain often leads to irreversible brain damage.
An implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) is a small, computerized device that is implanted in the upper chest of patients who are at risk for sudden cardiac arrest (SCA). Most ICDs can fit easily in the palm of the hand. The ICD detects abnormal heart rhythms, delivers electrical energy to the heart muscle, and restores a normal heartbeat.