Implantable Defibrillators

The implantable cardioverter defibrillator is a small device that offers a life-saving solution for patients living with heart problems.

Now, a new study says ICD's are helping people live longer healthier lives.

Implantable cardioverter defibrillators are similar to pacemakers, but with one vital difference.

"The pacemaker treats a slow heart rhythm to prevent the patient from passing out or feeling fatigued where as the IDC is actually a life saving device."

How it works is a wire is strung through a patient's chest and then attached to a battery pack from there it monitors the person's heart beat and gives shocks whenever the heart beats out of rhythm.

Up until now only people with a history of heart problems received an ICD, but doctor Kincaid says that is quickly changing, now that experts know how effective ICD's are.

"Now we're saying that someone who's never even had a heart rhythm problem but has something wrong with their heart should be strongly considered to have an ICD placed."

The technology continues to improve, with better models always coming out.

Check with your local hospital or doctor about the availability of this procedure.