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Heart Defibrillator Side Effects

by
author image Julia Bodeeb
Julia Bodeeb started online writing in 2007. She also worked on staff in medical publishing for more than a decade as a reporter, managing editor and in book acquisitions. She won a Pulitzer Center Global Issues/Citizen Voices Award in 2008. Bodeeb has a Bachelor of Arts in English from Monmouth University and postgraduate credits in psychology and law.
Heart Defibrillator Side Effects
A heart defibrillator. Photo Credit Renewer/iStock/Getty Images

Overview

A heart defibrillator controls the heart rhythm. It sends an electrical shock through the heart when it beats too quickly or becomes irregular, notes the University of Chicago Medical Center. An electrical shock is used to return the heart to its normal rhythm. The rate of sudden death after receiving a heart defibrillator is 1 to 2 percent and the rate is 20 to 50 percent in untreated patients, notes Craig A. McPherson, M.D. of Yale University Medical School.

Antibiotics Before Surgery

If surgery is required when a heart defibrillator has been implanted, antibiotics must be taken to prevent infection, notes the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. This is standard procedure for any invasive medical test or surgery after the defibrillator is inserted. Consult with the doctor with any questions about what dosage of antibiotics will be needed prior to surgery.

Must Avoid Blows to Chest

During physical activity, it will be important to avoid any direct physical contact to the area near of the upper chest where the heart defibrillator is implanted, notes the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. Contact sports that cause extreme hits are usually not be allowed after a heart defibrillator is in use. Talk to the doctor before participating in any sporting activity that could cause an impact to the chest area.

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Equipment Malfunctions

Problems with the battery or lead wire to the heart defibrillator can occur and cause cardiac health issues if the defibrillator malfunctions. Regular checkups of the heart defibrillator will be required to ensure that all parts are operating correctly, notes the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.

Metal in the Heart Defibrillator

Due to the metal components in the heart defibrillator machine, several activities must be avoided. Do not use an magnetic resonance imaging and do not go through airport security machines, notes the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. Talk to the doctor to find out all activities that must be avoided due to the metal in the heart defibrillator.

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References

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