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Driving and ICDs


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coffinam Find out more about coffinam
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  • Driving and ICDs

    Hello! I wonder who here drives, especially if you have an ICD? There is the obvious concern of the ICD's going off while behind the wheel, so I wonder if its ever been a problem for anyone, if you've been able to stop when you sensed a shock coming, and, if you don't drive, how you get around?

  • #2
    Re: Driving and ICDs

    I have had an ICD for ..WOW WAIT A MINUTE>>>> THIS MY ANNIVERSARY! - 7 years ago TODAY I had my ICD implanted - (no joke I really did not remember until I replied to your message )

    I have had near syncope behind the wheel - both pre and post ICD implant. It happened once before and once after. Thus I have give the matter a great deal of thought. I look at it this way - IF I did not have an ICD and had a cardiac arrest behind the wheel it is rather a sure thing that I would die and possibly someone else - this thought scared me very much. Post ICD I know that it is possible that I would still have such an event and due to air bags and ICD would likely be OK - I still worry about hurting others. I know enough to know that you can NEVER be 100% sure that you or anyone else on the roads are going to be OK and that there are 1000000 things that can happen behind the wheel.

    I also know that I have a few seconds -some may not- when I know "something" is not "right" - If I ever feel that I pull over. This has happened a handful of times in my life - all without major issues. The time I felt like I was going to black out post ICD I was on Rt 80 in NJ in the middel lane doing 65mph - OK maybe 70 - I got the car off to the side of the road - waved down a car and was taken to the hospital right off the side of the road - NO ICD fire - and home in 3 hours. It took me a while to be confortable enough to drive on a big highway - OK about 1 month - I do tend to stick to the "slow lane".

    YOU must be sure YOU are comfortable driving - if you have any doubts, I would not do it.

    99% of those with HCM who want to drive do - a few need to get their meds and treatment squared away and I am sure will again drive.

    Be well,
    Knowledge is power ... Stay informed!
    YOU can make a difference - all you have to do is try!

    Dx age 12 current age 46 and counting!
    lost: 5 family members to HCM (SCD, Stroke, CHF)
    Others diagnosed living with HCM (or gene +) include - daughter, niece, nephew, cousin, sister and many many friends!
    Therapy - ICD (implanted 97, 01, 04 and 11, medication
    Currently not obstructed
    Complications - unnecessary pacemaker and stroke (unrelated to each other)