Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillators

A heart arrhythmia treatment solution

 Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillators

What is an  ICD?

An implantable cardioverter defibrillator, or ICD, is a battery-run device used to continuously monitor and help regulate fast heart rates. When an ICD senses an arrhythmia, it delivers a shock to your heart to reestablish a normal rhythm. It also stores important information your doctor can use to program your ICD so you can receive the best possible treatments and therapies. All Abbott defibrillators are both pacemakers and ICDs, offering both features in one device. The difference is that an ICD delivers a shock to correct a fast or irregular heartbeat, and a pacemaker stimulates the heart to beat when it is too slow.

Why Do I Need an ICD

A healthy heart has a natural pacemaker called the sinus node and is one of the principal elements of the cardiac conduction system, which controls the heart rate. It generates electrical impulses, and these impulses move throughout the heart muscle, which stimulates the heart to contract and pump blood.

Generally, ICDs are needed for people who have been diagnosed with dangerously fast heart rhythms and are at high risk of cardiac arrest. If you have been diagnosed with heart failure, Coronary Artery Disease, or have survived a cardiac event, your doctor may have decided an ICD is right for you.

How ICDs Work

Once implanted, the device detects your heart rhythm through one or more thin, flexible insulated wires called leads, which are placed on or inside the heart muscle and attached to the device. The leads transmit your heart rate information to the ICD and carry electrical pulses from the ICD to your heart. When an abnormal heart rhythm occurs, the ICD can attempt to treat this in a few ways. It may deliver a series of rapid pacing pulses, or it may deliver an electric shock to return the heart to a normal rhythm. Different patients may or may not notice when these treatments have been delivered.

Types of ICDs

Depending on your symptoms and the specific heart condition, your doctor may prescribe one of the following ICDs:  

  • Single-Chamber ICD: One lead is placed in the heart in the right ventricle.
  • Dual-Chamber ICD: Two leads are placed in the heart, one in the right atrium and one in the right ventricle.
  • Biventricular ICD: Three leads are placed in the heart. One is placed in the right atrium, one in the right ventricle, and one in the coronary sinus - a vein that allows lead placement on your left ventricle.
Learn about Abbott's latest ICD devices

Learn about Abbott's latest ICD devices

Getting an ICD

During the implant procedure, you are either given a general anesthetic or conscious sedation. Conscious sedation is a combination of medicines to help you relax (a sedative) and to block pain (an anesthetic). If you receive conscious sedation, you may be able to hear and even talk with the medical team during the procedure, and team members may have instructions for you.

You may feel some pressure while the team implants your device, but you should not feel any pain. The duration of the procedure depends on the kind of device you are receiving as well as your specific anatomy.

Immediately after your procedure, you will be moved to recovery for observation. You may feel discomfort and most likely will be tired. You may stay in the hospital for several hours up to several days. Your doctor will estimate the time needed to stay in the hospital, depending on your individual needs.

For specific information regarding an ICD implant procedure, consult with your doctor.

Living with an ICD

After surgery, you will need to take it easy for a while. Your doctor will let you know when you can resume normal activity. You may have to adjust your overall pattern of activity and be aware of new things around you that you may not have paid attention to before. However, your symptoms should improve. There will be follow-up appointments after your surgery and check-ups throughout the year.

guide to electromagnetic compatibility and your ICD

guide to electromagnetic compatibility and your ICD

Patient Story

Rob was a Navy veteran, husband, and father in the best shape of his life when he suffered a full cardiac arrest that led to him receiving the Gallant ICD, an implantable device that is both a pacemaker and defibrillator.

Rob says the Gallant ICD is the best thing that ever happened to him — it gives him and his family peace of mind knowing the device will deliver the therapy he needs to stay alive. Watch his story here.

Remote Care with Your ICD

Abbott remote monitoring provides you and your doctor the safety and security of continuous monitoring of your heart from the time of implant to home. Remote monitoring enables your ICD to communicate to your doctor's office or clinic without you having to go in for an in-person visit. Your doctor may schedule your in-person visits less often based on the data they receive from your ICD.

After your implant, at home, you will use either a transmitter or downloadable mobile app to transmit your ICD information to your doctor.

myMerlinPulse Mobile App

The MerlinPulse™ mobile application works with Abbott’s next generation Gallant™ and Entrant™ ICDs. The app can automatically or manually (as requested) collect relevant data from your implanted heart device and send it to your doctor.

myMerlinPulse Mobile App

Merlin@home Transmitter

Certain Abbott ICDs work with the Merlin@home™ transmitter. This transmitter syncs with your ICD and collects data about your heart’s activity. Device and cardiac activity are monitored, and the data is shared with your doctor or clinic.

Merlin@home Transmitter

What to Expect with Your ICD

For Gallant ICD and Entrant ICD 

Discover helpful information about ICDs, including the implantation procedure, safety and use, and daily living with your device.

Indications, Safety & Warnings

Rx Only

Brief Summary: Prior to using these devices, please review the User’s Manual for a complete listing of indications, contraindications, warnings, precautions, potential adverse events and directions for use.

Intended Use: The Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (ICD) devices are intended to provide ventricular antitachycardia pacing and ventricular cardioversion/defibrillation.

The myMerlinPulse mobile application is intended for use by people who have an Abbott Medical implanted heart device and access to a mobile device. The app provides remote monitoring capability of the implanted heart device by transmitting information from the patient’s implanted heart device to the patient’s healthcare provider.

Indications: The ICD devices are indicated for automated treatment of life-threatening ventricular arrhythmias.

In addition, dual-chamber ICD devices with the AT/AF detection algorithm are indicated in patients with atrial tachyarrhythmias or those patients who are at significant risk of developing atrial tachyarrhythmias.

MR Conditional ICDs are conditionally safe for use in the MRI environment when used in a complete MR Conditional system and according to instructions in the MRI-Ready Systems manual. Scanning under different conditions may result in severe patient injury, death, or device malfunction.

The myMerlinPulse mobile application is indicated for use by patients with supported Abbott Medical implanted heart devices.

Contraindications: Contraindications for use of the pulse generator system include ventricular tachyarrhythmias resulting from transient or correctable factors such as drug toxicity, electrolyte imbalance, or acute myocardial infarction.

The myMerlinPulse mobile application is contraindicated for use with any implanted medical device other than supported Abbott Medical implanted heart devices.

Adverse Events: Possible adverse events associated with the implantation of the pulse generator system include the following: Arrhythmia (for example, accelerated or induced), Bradycardia, Cardiac or venous perforation, Cardiac tamponade, Cardiogenic shock, Death, Discomfort, Embolism, Endocarditis, Erosion, Exacerbation of heart failure, Excessive fibrotic tissue growth, Extracardiac stimulation (phrenic nerve, diaphragm, pectoral muscle), Extrusion, Fluid accumulation within the device pocket, Formation of hematomas, cysts, or seromas, Heart block, Hemorrhage, Hemothorax, Hypersensitivity, including local tissue reaction or allergic reaction, Infection, Keloid formation, Myocardial damage, Nerve damage, Occlusion/Thrombus, Pericardial effusion, Pericarditis, Pneumothorax, Pulmonary edema, Syncope, Thrombosis, Valve damage. Complications reported with direct subclavian venipuncture include pneumothorax, hemothorax, laceration of the subclavian artery, arteriovenous fistula, neural damage, thoracic duct injury, cannulation of other vessels, massive hemorrhage, and rarely, death. Among the psychological effects of device implantation are imagined pulsing, depression, dependency, fear of premature battery depletion, device malfunction, inappropriate pulsing, shocking while conscious, or losing pulse capability. Possible adverse device effects include complications due to the following: , Abnormal battery depletion, Conductor fracture, Device-programmer communication failure, Elevated or rise in defibrillation/cardioversion threshold, Inability to defibrillate or pace, Inability to interrogate or program due to programmer or device malfunction, Incomplete lead connection with pulse generator, Inhibited therapy including defibrillation and pacing, Inappropriate therapy (for example, shocks and antitachycardia pacing [ATP] where applicable, pacing), Interruption of function due to electrical or magnetic interference, Intolerance to high rate pacing (for example dyspnea or discomfort), Lead abrasion, Lead fracture, Lead insulation damage, Lead migration or lead dislodgement, Loss of device functionality due to component failure, Pulse generator migration, Rise in DFT threshold, Rise in pacing threshold and exit block, Shunting of energy from defibrillation paddles, System failure due to ionizing radiation. Additionally, potential adverse events associated with the implantation of a coronary venous lead system include the following: Allergic reaction to contrast media, Breakage or failure of implant instruments, Prolonged exposure to fluoroscopic radiation, Renal failure from contrast media used to visualize coronary veins. Refer to the User’s Manual for detailed intended use, indications, contraindications, warnings, precautions, and potential adverse events.

No potential adverse events have been identified with the use of the myMerlinPulse mobile application.

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