Harvard Heart Letter

Living with an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator

These high-tech devices can save — and change — a person's life.

Implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICDs) save many lives. They monitor the heart's rhythm and rate, emitting a low-energy electrical correction when they detect a minor heart rate abnormality. They can also deliver a more significant jolt, likened to a swift kick in the chest, to halt potentially life-threatening rhythm disruptions.

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