Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (ICD)
An ICD is a pacemaker-like device capable of treating both slow and fast heart rhythms. ICDs have been remarkably successful in preventing death due to fast, irregular heart rhythms as well as slow heart rhythms. An ICD is an electronic device that is implanted under the skin underneath the collarbone in patients who have life-threatening ventricular arrhythmias (irregular heartbeats that come from the lower chambers of the heart) or who are at high risk for developing these arrhythmias. ICDs are also used for patients who have arrhythmias that come from the upper chamber of the heart. The ICD is capable of either pacing or giving an electrical shock to the heart that restores the heart rhythm and prevents death.