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The Do's and Don'ts of Living with an ICD

Home >> Blogs >> Cardiac Sciences Cardiac Surgery Ctvs >> The Do's and Don'ts of Living with an ICD

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April 12, 2018 0 176 2 minutes, 57 seconds read
Dr. Dinesh Mittal - Max Hospital
Associate Director & Head – CTVS
Cardiac Sciences, Cardiac Surgery (CTVS)

Heart disease is a blow that affects emotions as well as the body. At times the patient may feel anxious, depressed, afraid and even angry. Many people suffer from heart diseases including conditions that may show no associated symptoms but can be fatal.

Arrhythmia is a condition that takes the form of an irregular heartbeat – where the heart may beat too slowly, too fast or irregularly. It takes the form of a rapid heartbeat that can result in stopping of the normal functioning of the heart. The best cardiologist in Delhi, advises an ICD to people suffering from this condition as a life-saving measure.

An ICD or Implantable Cardio Defibrillator is a remarkable little device that can significantly improve the quality of life and may even save lives. ICD looks a lot like a pacemaker but both function differently. The job of the pacemaker is to speed up a slow heartbeat while that of an ICD is completely opposite. An ICD monitors the heart, detects an abnormally fast rhythm and then stimulates the heart to return it to a normal rhythm. Thanks to the advancement in medical science, the new-age ICDs come with a pacemaker built into them; thus, keeping both the conditions in control.


  • Patients with an ICD should always carry their Patient Identification Card at all times
  • The identification card carries important information like the type of ICD, and in an emergency, this card will give the doctor critical data that could save the patient’s life
  • Follow the doctor’s instructions for returning to normal activities
  • When travelling, the person with an ICD should always inform the security staff about the device in advance as it may trigger an alarm
  • When walking through security gates, the person with an ICD should never allow the security personnel to place the scanner over the ICD. The Patient Identity Card comes handy in such situations.
  • When going for any other treatment, the patient should always inform the treating doctor about the device.
  • The patient should always take regular check-ups to ensure the functioning of the device
  • The doctor prescribes medication for the patient’s overall well-being; thus, should never be given a miss
  • If the patient receives two shocks within 24 hours, consulting the doctor is a must


  • People having an ICD should not venture into rough contact sports like boxing and rugby. The pressure caused on the body by the opponent may cause damage to the device
  • People with an ICD that is not MRI compatible should avoid proximity with magnetic devices such as MRI scanners as the magnetic rays can interfere with the programming of the device
  • The electromagnetic signals of cellular phones can interfere with proper functioning of the device; thus, should avoid carrying it in the pocket over the ICD
  • After getting an ICD, patients should avoid getting heat therapy
  • The strenuous repetitive upper-body workout may affect the ICD or the leads (wires); thus, it is better to avoid them
  • The doctors advise the patient not to play with or move the ICD under the skin
  • The patient should avoid lifting, stretching and sudden jerky movements for some weeks after the implant

Final Words

Above all, patients with an ICD should never live life on any presumption. They should always clear their doubts with their treating cardiologists to live a life free of complications after the implant. An Implantable Cardio Defibrillator is safe and trouble-free. Regular check-ups and proper care can significantly increase the life expectancy and quality of life of the heart patient. 

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