UMEM Educational Pearls

Category: Cardiology

Title: ICD shocks

Keywords: internal cardioverter-defibrillator, shock, defibrillation (PubMed Search)

Posted: 4/20/2008 by Amal Mattu, MD (Updated: 10/21/2021)
Click here to contact Amal Mattu, MD

Patients with ICDs presenting to the ED reporting that their ICD fired once do not need mandatory ICD interrogation, admission or an extensive ED workup purely based on the single shock. A workup should be initiated purely based on any other associated symptoms...chest pain, dyspnea, etc. If the patient was doing well and had no other symptoms prior to the shock, the patient should simply have close follow up with cardiology.

Patients presenting after multiple shocks, on the other hand, do need a workup and emergent ICD interrogation (most of these cases also are later deemed inappropriate shocks).