Table 1.

Patient misconceptions about ICDs

I will always be dependent on the ICD and will die as soon as it is deactivatedThe ICD delivers an electric shock only during a serious arrhythmia; it does not work continuously. If the patient is dependent on a pacemaker and his or her ICD has the pacemaker or CRT function, reassure them that the defibrillator function is independent of these functions. The defibrillator can be deactivated without affecting other functions
Deactivation of the ICD requires surgery or is painfulICD deactivation is a noninvasive procedure and is not painful
Deactivation of the ICD can be done from my homeICD deactivation is done in the clinic that placed the device; therefore, it is important to deactivate an ICD before the last hours or days of life. In an emergency, an ICD can be deactivated by placing a ring magnet on the patient’s chest. This only deactivates the ICD temporarily—while the magnet is on the chest
  • CRT—cardiac resynchronization therapy, ICD—implantable cardiac defibrillator.