Implantable defibrillator (ICD)
An Implantable defibrillator (ICD) is a device that is implanted into high risk individuals at risk of suffering a cardiac arrest due to a serious arrhythmia. Usually this occurs in patients with advanced heart failure, but it can also occur in a number of genetic conditions that predispose to cardiac arrest. The procedure is carried out under local anaesthesia with wires inserted into the heart using x-ray to guide placement. These wires are then connected to a generator and buried under the skin on the left side of the chest. The procedure is very similar to that of a pacemaker but the generator is usually larger than a pacemaker. Patients with ICD implants usually need to have them checked every 6 months to ensure they are working effectively.