6 alarming patient misconceptions about ICDs

For one, many patients think turning off their device will kill them

Most patients given an implantable cardioverter defibrillator do not know what should happen to it during their final weeks of life, a study shows.

Chest X-ray showing ICD

American College of Cardiology guidance from 2010 recommends turning off defibrillators in the final weeks of a terminal illness to prevent shocks being delivered during the dying process, which can be painful and prolong the process.

However, if the device includes a pacemaker function, this can remain operational.

The guidelines also recommend these end-of

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