AF Association
12,912 members15,745 posts


On Tuesday night I flipped back into AF at 02:00, after a year of remission. My ICD didn't fire as it's set to go off at 222 BPM and my AF only reached 192 BPM.

Once in the Hospital (06:00) I was bounced around departments until finally I was left at the Cardiac Resuscitation Unit where my ICD was manually activated and I was brought back in to syscn.

The lessons I learned from this are...

Call an ambulance straight away.

If you have an ICD, insist you are knocked out before they activate the ICD - they did pumped drugs into me but they had no effect.

The whack you get from the ICD does make your eyes water and you should ne have to do that whilst awake.

I'm now back home and feeling ok . I will be making a few calls today to ensure there is a better solution available next time!

5 Replies

Never had an ICD. Loads of DCCVs but all whilst with the fairies. I have heard it isn't pleasant but they are designed to keep you alive.


Hi Bob, If it was a choice between life or death I would understand it - but if it was because they couldn't be bothered or didn't have the correct staff available, that's another story!

Being in AF is scary enough without the dread of a lightning bolt going off in your chest. I'm not happy!


I quite agree. I did once sit in on an ICD support group meeting and found all the members very scared of their devices. I spent a fair amount of my life getting shocks off high intensity ignition systems in race cars so have a slight idea what it is like.


I thought it would be like that or a horse fence - both can give you a bit of a kick but it was a lot worse.

I have talked to the hospital this morning and it appears there was some confusion over "procedure". The new Doctor didn't realise I should have been knocked out - they say they are going to update their procedure, so maybe some good came out of it!


Very interested in your post. My husband who is in AF 24 /7 (or whatever the term is currently) had a similar experience. Recently on testing the device after replacement he levitated off the bed and likened it to a huge kick from a horse! Not something he is keen to repeat! Sedation had worn off!

There is still confusion around the correct procedure regarding ICDs and good that you have highlighted this at your hospital.


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