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ICD shocking 7 times


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jab3428 HCM Diagnosed 2006, Birthdate 3/2/1983 Find out more about jab3428
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  • ICD shocking 7 times

    I am 27 year old and had my ICD put in last January. I like to workout at the gym with light weight lifting and occassional cardio. About 3 months after I had the ICD implanted I was at the gym doing normal workouts. Feeling great while on the treadmill i decided to hit the incline a bit which spiked my heart rate to 185 bpm. This resulted in my getting shocked 7 times. The first one scared me and almost knocked me off the treadmill. A soon as it hit I knew it had to be the ICD, so started to walk around the gym to try and lower my heart rate, but every 7-8 seconds it would shock again, eventually binging me to my knees and then lying on the floor. After the 7th shock my heart rate came down and the shocks were over.

    I was picked up by the ambulence, taken to Duke University Hospital where they explained that the device is set to shock if your heart rate is over 185bpm. Since then they have raised my devices bpm limit to 214 considering my fit and age. No problems since then. The shocks were painful and I am still getting over the experience. I would compare the shock to being hit in the chest with a baseball bat. I also bit down on my tounge pretty hard causing some cuts, but nothing major.
    Last edited by jab3428; 08-09-2010, 02:25 PM.

  • #2
    Re: ICD shocking 7 times

    Thanks for sharing your story. I'm sorry that happened to you. It's my fear every time I go on the treadmill.

    Hope you're feeling better and that you have good workouts going forward, now that you can let your heart rate get a little higher.

    Take care,
    Diagnosed during pregnancy age 30, July 2007
    2 mutated genes found in Feb 2009
    ICD Nov 12, 2009
    2 daughters born in '07 & '09. Normal EKGs.
    No known family history of HCM
    In 1995, at age 18, an echo for a misdiagnosed mvp showed HCM but it went unnoticed.
    Still jog and feel no symptoms on most days.


    • #3
      Re: ICD shocking 7 times

      Your Defib is set too low. It shouldn't zap until your BPM is over 200. The same thing happened to me. After an ambulance ride and a hospital visit in NY, Dr. Maron later confirmed that my ICD pace was too low (in Minneapolis). It was set for an 80 year old I was told. It is not a good experience at all! I can relate to you very well. Did you have phantom shocks after? I did and it's common.


      • #4
        Re: ICD shocking 7 times


        Yes I actually had a phantom shock yesterday morning just before my alarm clock went off. I jumped out of bed pretty nervous, but Im pretty sure it was not a real shock.

        Since I started going to Duke they have raised the settings to fit my age. Mine was set way to low. That is very frusterating as you well know.


        • #5
          Re: ICD shocking 7 times

          I think anytime someone has inappropriate shocks it has to be considered a tragedy. On the one hand, you know the ICD is working but not doing what you thought it is supposed to do: shock you when you need it.

          My 17 year old son received 18 inappropriate shocks in 45 minutes due to a lead fracture (not a Medtronic device) but merely due to the fact that he was a very active 14 year old and his lead couldn't handle all the activity as it is normally designed for more sedentary adults...or so we are told.

          I am curious though, my son's cardiologist always warns him not to let his heart rate get above 120-130 BPM when exercising as this potentially increases his risk for an arythymia. Has anyone else been told this?


          • #6
            Re: ICD shocking 7 times

            Yes, I have been told that 140-150 is my max safe zone. From fear of another shock I have a heart rate monitor I wear while working out and make sure that im not going above 150.


            • #7
              Re: ICD shocking 7 times

              The phantom shocks will stop soon. It's weird to say the least. Now that the defib is set, you should be ok. I can't believe they are not set properly, which is tragic. Easy on the workouts regardless.