Sudden cardiac death: Do I need an implantable defibrillator?

An implantable defibrillator is highly effective in preventing sudden cardiac death from arrhythmias. Those who have been diagnosed with heart disease or has a family history of sudden death should consult a doctor. If the risk is high, an implantable defibrillator might be considered.

Who are at risk for sudden cardiac death?

Some individuals face a higher risk for sudden cardiac death. Generally, those at risk are categorized into 4 groups:

  • Individuals with serious coronary artery disease (CAD). The plaque formations linked with CAD might rupture abruptly, resulting to a variety of ailments known as acute coronary syndrome where cardiac arrest is a serious outcome.
  • Individuals who had previous episodes of ventricular tachycardia or ventricular fibrillation, particularly if the arrhythmia has triggered sudden cardiac arrest or loss of consciousness. One is at higher risk for ending up with another cardiac arrest.
  • Those who have heart failure with drastically diminished left ventricular ejection. In most cases of individuals with a serious case of heart failure, cardiac arrest is likely to occur.
    Sudden cardiac death
    Those who have been diagnosed with heart disease or has a family history of sudden death should consult a doctor.
  • Individuals with hereditary heart defects that increases the risk for ventricular tachycardia or fibrillation.

If an individual is included in one of these categories, a doctor must be consulted so that proper assessment can be done to determine his/her risk for sudden cardiac death.

Do I need an implantable defibrillator?

An implantable defibrillator is not suitable for everybody due to its share of risks. It is vital that the individual discusses if there is a need especially those who are at high risk for sudden cardiac death.

Disclaimer / More Information

The information posted on this page on sudden cardiac death is for learning and educational purposes only. To learn more about the condition, register for first aid training at one of our training centers located throughout Canada. The training centers are in Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver, Kelowna, Saskatoon, Victoria, Surrey, Mississauga, Winnipeg, Red Deer, Toronto, Ottawa and Halifax.

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