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What is an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator?

An implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) is a device used to monitor heartbeat and heart rhythm. It is placed under the skin and attached to the heart through the veins with small wires. The device emits an electrical pulse if the heart beats with a dangerous rhythm or if the heart stops. The electrical pulse shocks the heart back to a normal rhythm.
Imran K. Niazi, MD
Clinical Cardiac Electrophysiology

An implantable cardioverter-defibrillator is a battery-powered device slightly larger than a matchbox that is implanted under the skin just below the collar bone. It is used to correct and regulate the heart rhythm, and some types are used to help improve heart function.

The implantable cardioverter-defibrillator, or ICD, has a computer chip that continuously records your heart rhythm and looks for abnormalities. If the heartbeat slows too much or stops, the defibrillator acts like a pacemaker and speeds up the heartbeat to a normal rhythm. If the heartbeat goes dangerously fast (which can be fatal), the defibrillator corrects the rhythm by giving a series of electrical pulses or by giving an electrical shock to the heart. Some defibrillators (called biventricular ICDs) are very helpful in making the heart chambers work in unison. This can improve heart function considerably.

An implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) is a device used to monitor heartbeat and heart rhythm. It is placed under the skin and attached to the heart through the veins with small wires. The device emits an electrical pulse if the heart beats with a dangerous rhythm or if the heart stops. The electrical pulse shocks the heart back to a normal rhythm.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.