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Has Anyone's ICD - Defibrillator Gone Off While Sleeping?


About the Author


DeniseB diagnosed with HOCM at age 47 Septal Myectomy at age 55 (Feb. 2007) AICD in Feb. 2007 2009 - AICD leads crossed, corrected. Aug. 2013 - AICD replaced and new lead. Old lead unattached itself from heart after 6 1/2 years. 3 daughters ages 40, 37, 32 - all have been tested and currently clear 4 grandchildren, ages 13, 10, 6, 4 - all have been tested and are currently clear. Father died at age 42 of myocardial infarcture. Not known if he had HCM. Mother's heart was fine. Find out more about DeniseB
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  • Has Anyone's ICD - Defibrillator Gone Off While Sleeping?

    Two nights ago I was awakened from a presumably deep sleep by a 'bright white flash' and my body jumping up off the bed. I felt no pain, no 'mule kick'. Did my defibrillator go off or was I dreaming like my husband is suggesting?
    I know what it feels like to go off when wide awake. Definitely felt like a mule kick, was very dizzy and almost knocked me on my butt, literally.

    I've had my ICD for 6 1/2 years now. In that time I've had to go back into the hosp. because the leads were crossed. Last year the top lead had to be turned off because it was planted too close to a nerve in my diaphragm causing 'jumping' sensations.
    Just recently during my yearly checkup with my electrophysiologist, he said
    that the bottom lead was deteriorating and not sensing when my heart needed paced. Next Monday I am having the ICD replaced.

    In the meantime, I just want to know - did it go off on me in my sleep or was I dreaming?

  • #2
    Re: Has Anyone's ICD - Defibrillator Gone Off While Sleeping?

    Dear Denise, when mine went off, I called my doctors office. Although my icd downloads by phone at night, I was told to download over the telephone. They told me it had discharged and told me to come to the emergency room because it looked like it was going to discharge again. Mine was a misfire because of afib. There should be a record of activity in your icd that can be downloaded and ease your mind about what happened. Best Wishes


    • #3
      Re: Has Anyone's ICD - Defibrillator Gone Off While Sleeping?

      Thank you for replying Gayle.
      I tried to do a an interrogation for the past 3 days and my machine 'calls' Latitude and I get a message saying I can't do an interrogation at this time. My day to do one is scheduled for Thursdays. Do I call my cardiologist or my electrophysiologist?


      • #4
        Re: Has Anyone's ICD - Defibrillator Gone Off While Sleeping?

        Most of my shocks have come while I was sleeping, trust me you will know it. It does hurt and I scream out. For some reason that is when mine acts up. Kinda makes me afraid to sleep at times.


        • #5
          Re: Has Anyone's ICD - Defibrillator Gone Off While Sleeping?

          Sorry that happens so frequently for you dyvergreg. I can certainly understand why you are afraid to fall asleep. I know I've been anxious since that night, but I guess it was just a dream. Too realistic for comfort, for sure.


          • #6
            Re: Has Anyone's ICD - Defibrillator Gone Off While Sleeping?

            Mine did go off in the middle of the night about a month after it was implanted. I flew up, yelling out, nearly scaring my husband to death. I told him I thought it was just a bad dream I was having and someone shot me in the chest. I didn't phone Defib. Clinic because I really didn't think it had gone off. When I went in for a check about a month later sure enough it had. They said that next time I should phone in and then come in, to have it interegated.


            • #7
              Re: Has Anyone's ICD - Defibrillator Gone Off While Sleeping?

              I had an incident once about 6 months post implant and also saw a flash and was woken up. My doctor said this was not a shock and is quite common in new installs - He thinks its psychosomatic. If its any help, it hasn't happen since.
              Diagnosed @ 48
              Saw Dr. Michael Debakey @ age 5 - "He's fine, just a little noisy"
              Father to 3 boys 22, 25, 29 (all currently clear - pending genetics)
              AICD - Valentines Day '08, Spark Plug replaced 11/14
              After much research, I had a Myectomy @ Mayo for my 50th Birthday '08
              Quietly going insane . . .


              • #8
                Re: Has Anyone's ICD - Defibrillator Gone Off While Sleeping?

                I received my new AICD a week ago today. I also needed a lead replacement as the old one had become detached from my heart after 6 1/2 years. Surgery took over 3 hours.
                I had planned to ask the Dr. about that flash of white light and body lifting from the bed incident but he was late for the surgery and I was already feeling 'loopy'. When I saw him again while in the recovery room, he explained what they did ( very quickly) and was gone before I could get a word in. Not my fault he was running late, LOL I have a follow up appt. with him on Sept 25th when I will receive my new Interrogation machine and will ask him then when he's not so rushed.
                Marc - you may be right, could by psychosomatic. Hubby doesn't believe I had an actual shock. He's sure he would have known about it as he's a light sleeper. The first (and only) time I had an actual shock, I screamed because it was so unexpected and nearly fell off my seat. It was a misfire.

                Thank you for all the replies!


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