What is the difference between a cardiac pacemaker and a cardiac defibrillator? A pacemaker is a small, battery-operated device that helps the heart beat in a regular rhythm. An implantable cardiac defibrillator is a device that monitors your heart rate and delivers a strong electrical shock to restore the heartbeat to normal in the event of tachycardia.
What is the life expectancy of a person with a pacemaker and defibrillator? Pacemakers and ICDs generally last 5 to 7 years or longer, depending on usage and the type of device. In most cases, you can lead a normal life with an ICD. Advances in technology have reduced the chances that machines, such as microwaves, could interfere with your device.
Can you have both pacemaker and defibrillator? Yes, this is safe. Most pacemakers and ICDs (implantable cardioverter defibrillators) are implanted in the upper left side of the chest. During CPR, chest compressions are done in the centre of the chest and should not affect a pacemaker or ICD that has been in place for a while.
How serious is getting a defibrillator? As with all surgeries, a defibrillator implant involves risks and possible complications. Complications may become serious and life threatening in some cases. Complications can develop during surgery or recovery.