Journal of Paramedic Practice, Vol. 4, Iss. 3, 02 Mar 2012, pp 166 - 169
Implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICDs) are devices placed into patients with a variety of cardiac conditions to prevent sudden death from dysrhythmias. On occasion, these devices can malfunction, presenting a challenge to both prehospital and emergency department providers. In this article, we present a case in which pre-hospital providers encountered a patient whose ICD was firing continuously in a patient with sustained ventricular tachycardia. We then discuss the pre-hospital management of patients whose ICDs have fired. Scenarios discussed include management of the single appropriate ICD shock, management of multiple appropriate ICD shocks, and management of inappropriate ICD shocks.
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