FAQ

What causes the ICD to vibrate?

Not all ICDs can vibrate and when they do it is usually a patient alert feature.

You can find out more about alerts on our ICD Sounds and Alerts page.

How will I know if anything is wrong with my ICD?

Your heart device can be programmed to make a beeping tone when something has happened that your doctor needs to be aware of. If you hear a beeping tone, contact your doctor. Your doctor can discuss with you what has happened. Your doctor can also program your heart device to send heart information automatically through a wireless device to your clinic. Your doctor will explain the type of wireless device that will be used to send your heart information.

How will I know if I get shocked?

Most people are aware of getting an ICD shock and each describes the event differently. Those who are awake during a therapy shock describe it as a “kick in the chest.” The shock startles them, but the feeling passes quickly. Some find it fleeting but still distressing. Others find the therapy shock a reassuring reminder that their heart device is protecting them from sudden cardiac arrest. Some people lose consciousness because of a rapid heartbeat, and they are not aware they received a therapy shock.

I feel an occasional “tingling.” What is that? Is it coming from my ICD?

You should talk to your doctor about any symptoms you are having.

Some devices can provide pacing or anti-tachycardia therapy and this may be felt by some.

Some devices also have patient alert features, such as making a beep or vibrating.

Check out our Sounds and Alerts page for more information.

What do the alerts in my ICD sound like?

Your doctor will determine what conditions will trigger an alert. Ask your doctor to explain what the alerts mean in your particular case. The beeping tone is designed to get your attention, not to alarm you. If you hear beeping tones from your heart device, call your doctor for instructions. The alert sounds will continue until your doctor checks your device at the clinic and programs the alert off.

Check out the Sounds and Alerts page for more information.

Will I hear a warning or an alarm before I receive a shock?

Most likely, you will not hear anything before a shock. If an ICD senses an event that requires a shock, it responds immediately, leaving no time for any warning signals.

Will I be alerted when my ICD battery starts running out?

Your doctor will keep a close watch on your ICD battery life through regular follow-up visits and/or with remote monitoring systems.

Some ICDs emit an alert when the time is for a change. See our ICD sounds and alerts page for more information

Will my ICD warn me before it shocks me?

No. You will not receive a warning from your ICD before a shock. However, you may have symptoms that tell you a shock may be imminent.
Symptoms may include dizziness, lightheadedness, or a fluttering in the chest.