Frequently Asked Questions
1. What does a typical heartbeat look like and how is it controlled?
At rest, the heart rate should be between 60 and 80 beats per minute. The SA(sinoatrial) node, which is located in the right atrium of the heart, generates a stimulation that controls the heartbeat.
2. What is ventricular fibrillation and how does it affect you?
The heart beats at 240 beats per minute in ventricular fibrillation because the stimulation is no longer controlled, the heart beats excessively quickly and thus ineffectively. This can even result in stopping blood circulation. Ventricular fibrillation is a life-threatening disorder that can result in cardiac arrest and even death.
3. What is AICD and how does it work?
AICD is a life-saving device that detects and corrects abnormally rapid heartbeats. When the heart is working normally, this device remains inactive, but when it detects an unusually fast heart beat, it provides little low voltage electrical shocks to the heart, which corrects the incorrect rhythm (anti Tachycardia pacing ). A low energy shock is given in some cases to restore normal rhythm (cardioversion), while a high energy shock is given in a few cases when the heart is beating dangerously rapidly (Defibrillation )
4. What are the AICD's components?
AICD is made up of :
- The generator is implanted under the skin in the upper left chest and contains a battery and a tiny computer.
- Leads or insulated wires connected to the generator on one end and the right chambers of the heart on the other.
5. How long does the AICD's battery last?
The battery in an AICD lasts between 6 and 10 years, depending on usage. When the battery life is up, the entire device must be replaced, although the leads can be reused.
6. What is the difference between a pacemaker and an AICD?
An AICD can provide high or low energy electrical impulses to fix an aberrant heart rhythm, whereas a pacemaker can only send low energy impulses. In cases of sudden cardiac arrest, where high energy impulses (shock) are necessary to restore the heartbeat, an AICD is required and can save a person's life.