What is an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator?

An implantable cardioverter- defibrillator, more commonly called an ICD, is a medical device that is implanted in the body. Wires, or leads, from the ICD go into the heart. The ICD performs many functions which help regulate your heart’s rhythm.

What exactly does an ICD do?

ICDs vary by model and manufacturer, so you should ask your doctor about specifics. However, all ICDs monitor your heart’s rhythm for certain types of very fast and potentially dangerous and very fast rhythm disorders. The ICD is designed to deliver therapy when it detects this type of rhythm disorder. An ICD also contains a built-in pacemaker, so it can help pace your heart if it beats too slowly.

Why would one need defibrillation?

Defibrillation is the most important single thing an ICD does. In defibril-lation, a high-energy shock is delivered to the heart to stop a potentially lethal ventricular rhythm disorder and help restore your heart rate to normal.Defibrillation can literally be a life-saver!

What is a CRT-D?

Implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICDs) look a lot like pacemakers. As you may already know, pacemakers can speed up a slow heartbeat. ICDs do just the opposite. They slow down a too-rapid heartbeat. Some ICDs can do both. A CRT-D is an ICD that includes a pacing feature to help resynchronize (coordinate) the lower heart chambers, enabling your heart to beat efficiently. So CRTD Combines a CRT Device with an ICD