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ICD (implantable cardiac/cardioverter defibrillator)

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Term Definition
ICD (implantable cardiac/cardioverter defibrillator)

An ICD is an implantable cardioverter defibrillator. It is a device which is able to give the heart electrical shocks. An ICD looks similar to a pacemaker and is a little bigger than a match box. It is usually implanted under the collar bone.

An ICD device is made up of a pulse generator - which is a battery powered electronic circuit - and one or more electrode leads. The leads are placed into the heart via a vein. An ICD constantly monitors the heart rhythm and if it senses a dangerous abnormal heart rhythm it can deliver one of the following treatments:

Pacing to try and stop the abnormal heart rhythm. One or more small electrical shocks to stop the abnormal heart rhythm and restore the heart back to a normal rhythm.

Definition from British Heart Foundation: ICD

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