IMPLANTED CARDIOVERTER DEFIBRILLATORS.

Riverside
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Joined: 9 Sep 2009, 5:44pm

IMPLANTED CARDIOVERTER DEFIBRILLATORS.

Postby Riverside » 28 Feb 2011, 9:29pm

Has anyone got one of these fitted, please? If so, are you riding the bike still - how far - how hard? Have you ever had a "therapy" (the big bang) on the bike or off?

I had mine fitted last July and haven't been on the bike since - for other reasons really - my wife's got cancer - I have just been idle, etc..

Mine runs for 1% of the time - cardiac department tells me this is good. Generally I feel OK - touching wood!

resus1uk
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Re: IMPLANTED CARDIOVERTER DEFIBRILLATORS.

Postby resus1uk » 1 Mar 2011, 10:27am

I don't have an ICD personally but the clue is in my user name, though the ICD should keep you out of my hands.

Whilst exercise is generally "good" , your sitaution needs a professional exercise prescription.

Your local Cardiac Rehabilitation service should be able to help, (or the guys who fitted your box of tricks).

I do have a number of ICD patients in our local Cardiac Support group who I train in CPR annually. They are well & cycle, swim & walk.

For other readers:
How does an ICD work?
Your ICD constantly monitors your heart rhythm through the electrodes and if it notices a dangerous heart rhythm it can deliver three treatments:

Pacing - a series of low-voltage electrical impulses at a fast rate to correct the heart rhythm
Cardioversion – one or more small electric shocks to try and restore the heart to a normal rhythm
Defibrillation – one or more larger electric shocks to try and restore the heart to a normal rhythm
Who needs an ICD?
ICDs are used for some of the people who:

have already had a life threatening abnormal heart rhythm and are at risk of having it again
haven’t had a life threatening heart rhythm, but who have had tests that show they are at risk of one in the future. This is usually because they have inherited certain faulty genes and may have a condition such as Cardiomyopathy, Long QT syndrome or Brugada Syndrome
have another type of heart condition, such as heart failure, and who have had, or at risk of having a life-threatening abnormal heart rhythm
have had other treatments to correct their heart rhythm which have been unsuccessful.

Riverside
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Joined: 9 Sep 2009, 5:44pm

Re: IMPLANTED CARDIOVERTER DEFIBRILLATORS.

Postby Riverside » 1 Mar 2011, 11:02pm

Thanks for your reply. I am informed as much as I can be by literature and staff who are very good but really there seems to be no-one out there with an ICD who rides a bike in the way that veteran club cyclists ride.

The types and intensities of exercise spoken about by staff are pretty low level - walking, work in the gym/leisure centre, etc.. I'm 68 and have ridden since 1959 (including the Tour of Britain and the Commonwealth Games). Obviously I don't want to go back to the old days of eyeballs-out riding but I do want to do more than pottering at 10mph..

There is hearsay third-party stuff on the internet about people running marathons with an ICD but this has been impossible to track down. Perhaps this is just propaganda put out by Medtronic!

I will just have to start quietly and see what works as the Spring comes in I guess.

Bill Reynolds
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Location: North Worcestershire

Re: IMPLANTED CARDIOVERTER DEFIBRILLATORS.

Postby Bill Reynolds » 2 Mar 2011, 12:24am

Hello, This might be somewhat off topic but in 2008 I felt something was strange on my regular running around the local hills and was taken to hospital. I was found to have a illregular heart beat like you plus multiple pulmonary embolisms. (second time I had this) I am now on Beta Blockers plus Warfarin for life. I get far... far more out of breath running up and down the local hills than I would ever dream of doing whilst cycling. Ease yourself into whatever you did before like I did. Running is far more effort than cycling is..... I am 66 and a life long cyclist. (easy rider type)

Ant
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Re: IMPLANTED CARDIOVERTER DEFIBRILLATORS.

Postby Ant » 2 Mar 2011, 9:45am

Further to resus1's comprehensive answer...

Don't be afraid of moderate exercise, the benefits are likely to (far) outweigh the risks...

Invest in a good heart rate monitor and keep your maximum intensity deliberately low, de-oxygenating the heart is not wise in your condition, but this should not be an issue at lower levels of intensity and anything up to 75% MHR is generally a good pace anyway.

But as stated, seek professional advice and push them on it. They have the skills to research this issue properly (as opposed to amateur googling, which while useful cannot replace proper medical evidence appraisal), and they have a professional and moral responsibility to address your concerns. They will probably also enjoy the process of finding this out for you. You may have to be quite persistent and insistent, but it is surely worth it...

Can you share the circumstances around the occasion when your ICD activated? What if you were riding at that time? That would be a point to consider...

Wishing you good health
Ant

DavidT
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Location: East Midlands (Originally from Devon)

Re: IMPLANTED CARDIOVERTER DEFIBRILLATORS.

Postby DavidT » 2 Mar 2011, 7:00pm

Riverside wrote:
There is hearsay third-party stuff on the internet about people running marathons with an ICD but this has been impossible to track down. Perhaps this is just propaganda put out by Medtronic!



Given that medical implants could be subject to a busy claims culture (in the USA at least) :roll: , if a company like Medtronic are quoting this sort of thing, they can probably back it up to some extent.

Have you tried contacting the BHF, either locally or nationally? They may be of assistance.....or may not. Personally I've had mixed results depending on the query (but generally pretty positive).

PM sent by the way, although not massively useful! :oops:

All the best.

rickangus
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Re: IMPLANTED CARDIOVERTER DEFIBRILLATORS.

Postby rickangus » 2 Mar 2011, 11:09pm

I had an ICD fitted in about May 2009. It's bit of a story so I will gather my thoughts and try to provide a more lucid explanation later. However, it hasn't yet intervened in any way and having the (medtronic) device fitted doesn't directly impact my cycling activities. Indeed, my cardiologist is generally supportive of what I do but has on one occasion had reason to berate me!

More later!

rickangus
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Re: IMPLANTED CARDIOVERTER DEFIBRILLATORS.

Postby rickangus » 3 Mar 2011, 9:56pm

Having re-read the OPs comments I'm not sure my experience is all that relevant.

Firstly I am not a competitive cyclist and never have been - I would describe my cycling activities more along the lines of 'pottering along at 10 mph' with ambitions of a touring nature.

Secondly, my drug regime is such that I would struggle to average a speed much more than that! Amongst a number of other drugs I am on what I understand to be the maximum possible dosage of betablockers - which is possible only because I have the ICD fitted as that would intervene if things got a bit too slow. So now when I go up long or steep hill (slowly, granny ring!) my heart rate never seems to go above 80 bpm. However I have recently acquired an Edge 800 so I'll see what that has to say.

The ICD itself has no real impact on me as such. I am rather more circumspect as I don't want to take a tumble and risk damaging it. And of course it is a very noticeable ' lump' below my collarbone.

For the record I have cardiomyopathy, long QT, heart failure, tachycardia and occasional atrial fibrillation.

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[XAP]Bob
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Re: IMPLANTED CARDIOVERTER DEFIBRILLATORS.

Postby [XAP]Bob » 3 Mar 2011, 10:58pm

Random question...
Does "the big bang" mean you'd be likely to lose control (i.e. are you allowed to drive?)
A shortcut has to be a challenge, otherwise it would just be the way. No situation is so dire that panic cannot make it worse.
There are two kinds of people in this world: those can extrapolate from incomplete data.

Riverside
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Re: IMPLANTED CARDIOVERTER DEFIBRILLATORS.

Postby Riverside » 4 Mar 2011, 10:32pm

The position with driving is that if the ICD has been installed as a precautionary/prophylactic measure, i.e., you haven't had a heart attack or major problems before you can drive. If you have had an incident you can't drive for six months and you must inform the DLA.. If you get the big bang from the ICD in the future again you can't drive for six months.

Apparently you do get some warning that your heart is about to pack up (minutes or more?) before the ICD kicks in; maybe long enough to slow down from 80mph in the outside lane of the M25 and stop on the hard shoulder!!!!!!!

These things cost £10,500 - £19,000 each. Pacemakers cost £1,500. I have got all my NI contributions back!

Riverside
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Re: IMPLANTED CARDIOVERTER DEFIBRILLATORS.

Postby Riverside » 15 Mar 2011, 10:30pm

Elizabeth Archer is getting one of these fitted this week. She doesn't ride bike although her late husband, Nigel, used to.

tpractice
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Re: IMPLANTED CARDIOVERTER DEFIBRILLATORS.

Postby tpractice » 5 Dec 2011, 10:50pm

I am a kean leisure cyclist who commutes and tours. Following a recent heart attack, caused or was the cause of ventricular tachycardia my cardiologist suggested I get an ICD fitted. On 1st November I had it fitted and on 5th november after climbing the stairs in my local tesco store I felt faint, sat down and my ICD "fired". I counted 7 full shocks which were extremely frightening. Before each shock I could feel my heart starting to race then the shock came. There was a gap between each shock when, I was informed, the device was recharging itself. When the ICD was interrogated I was told that it had "fired" 12 times although I was only aware of 7. I still haven't been back on any of my bikes but I am eager to do so. I am tempted to buy a heart rate monitor but not sure if it will interfere with the ICD. Can anyone advise?

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[XAP]Bob
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Re: IMPLANTED CARDIOVERTER DEFIBRILLATORS.

Postby [XAP]Bob » 6 Dec 2011, 9:35am

tpractice wrote:I am a kean leisure cyclist who commutes and tours. Following a recent heart attack, caused or was the cause of ventricular tachycardia my cardiologist suggested I get an ICD fitted. On 1st November I had it fitted and on 5th november after climbing the stairs in my local tesco store I felt faint, sat down and my ICD "fired". I counted 7 full shocks which were extremely frightening. Before each shock I could feel my heart starting to race then the shock came. There was a gap between each shock when, I was informed, the device was recharging itself. When the ICD was interrogated I was told that it had "fired" 12 times although I was only aware of 7. I still haven't been back on any of my bikes but I am eager to do so. I am tempted to buy a heart rate monitor but not sure if it will interfere with the ICD. Can anyone advise?


My uneducated opinion is that it shouldn't - most monitors are external sensors only.

Of course you could get a really good reading if you could interrogate the ICD :D

The people who CAN and MUST answer this are your surgeon/cardiologist. If necessary get your GP to push for an answer...
A shortcut has to be a challenge, otherwise it would just be the way. No situation is so dire that panic cannot make it worse.
There are two kinds of people in this world: those can extrapolate from incomplete data.

rickangus
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Re: IMPLANTED CARDIOVERTER DEFIBRILLATORS.

Postby rickangus » 6 Dec 2011, 10:09am

Since my posts in March I received a 'big bang' shock - two in fact - early one Sunday morning in May.

I'd been feeling fine on the Saturday, did a hilly 15 mile ride and felt really good. In the early hours of the morning I woke to feel my pulse racing - very fast - almost too fast to count. After a while it didn't go away and it began to hurt so I was going to call an ambulance. Then I was kicked in the chest by a racehorse - or at least that's how it felt - and then for a second time. After that things calmed down but I didn't exactly turn over and go back to sleep.

My cardiologist increased my amioderone dose which is a good drug for irregular rhythyms but has unpleasant side effects so they don't like to prescribe it unless really necessary. However, since then I've been absolutely fine.

I've taken my mandatory six month holiday from driving and have just got back on the road.

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[XAP]Bob
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Re: IMPLANTED CARDIOVERTER DEFIBRILLATORS.

Postby [XAP]Bob » 6 Dec 2011, 2:42pm

rickangus wrote:Since my posts in March I received a 'big bang' shock - two in fact - early one Sunday morning in May.

I'd been feeling fine on the Saturday, did a hilly 15 mile ride and felt really good. In the early hours of the morning I woke to feel my pulse racing - very fast - almost too fast to count. After a while it didn't go away and it began to hurt so I was going to call an ambulance. Then I was kicked in the chest by a racehorse - or at least that's how it felt - and then for a second time. After that things calmed down but I didn't exactly turn over and go back to sleep.

My cardiologist increased my amioderone dose which is a good drug for irregular rhythyms but has unpleasant side effects so they don't like to prescribe it unless really necessary. However, since then I've been absolutely fine.

I've taken my mandatory six month holiday from driving and have just got back on the road.


Sounds like the thing worked very well then!
From a purely selfish perspective - money well spent, at least one ambulance trip saved!
A shortcut has to be a challenge, otherwise it would just be the way. No situation is so dire that panic cannot make it worse.
There are two kinds of people in this world: those can extrapolate from incomplete data.