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Discharge Instructions for Patients With ICD's

Cardiac Patient Care Handbook
 

General Instructions

  • Carry your ID Card for your ICD with you at all times. This card will be given to you in the hospital or mailed to you.
  • Medic Alert Bracelets are available from your pharmacist to wear at all times.
  • Follow-up appointments with the ICD doctors will be discussed with you before discharge.
  • Your family members should be trained in CPR. Mercy Health Partners, as well as other local organizations such as the American Heart Association provide this service.
  • Carry your ID Card for your ICD with you at all times. This card will be given to you in the hospital or mailed to you.
  • The ICD will bulge slightly under your skin. This bulge will decrease in size over the next few weeks. Please notify the doctor’s office if you notice any of the following around your ICD site:

    A bruise that does not go away.

    Soreness or yellow, green, or brown drainage from the site.

    Any swelling from the site.

    If you have a fever of 100 degrees or higher that lasts for a few days.

  • You do not need a dressing over site unless told otherwise.
  • Leave steri-strips over your site until they start to fall off.
  • Keep your incision clean and pat dry. Do not scrub. You may shower or bathe as long as your incision isn’t submerged or directly sprayed upon until well healed.
  • For comfort, wear loose fitting clothing.
  • Report any signs of infection, fever, pain, swelling, redness, oozing, or heat at site especially if these symptoms increase after the first 3 to 4 days.
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Activity Precautions

  • Avoid activity that involves rough contact with the ICD site.
  • The doctor will instruct you when you may resume driving.
  • Avoid lifting your arm over your head on the ICD side or lifting over 10 pounds for 4 weeks.
  • Do not carry objects by holding them against your ICD site.
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Special Precautions

  • You should avoid all strong magnetic fields, such as welding, large transformers, or large motors. Some ICD devices will beep if it detects a strong magnet. If this occurs, move out of the area.
  • Treatments or surgery that require diathermy or electrocaudry should be discussed with your doctor before scheduled.
  • Avoid radio frequency transmitters, including radar.
  • Advise dentist or other medical personnel you see that you have an ICD.
  • If you plan to move or take a trip to a new area, the doctor’s office will give you a name of a doctor to contact for any problems.
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Special Instructions on Shocks

Notify your doctor for any of the following:

  • Anytime a shock is received in a 24 hour period. An office visit is not usually required for a single shock.
  • Two or more shocks in a row. If you do not feel well, call the Rescue Squad, otherwise call your doctor. This may require an office visit.
  • Two or more shocks spaced apart by several hours. This may require an office visit.
  • Keep a record of the above events. Include date, time, symptoms and activity at that time.
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Antibiotic Therapy

During the first 8 weeks after your ICD insertion, you may need antibiotics before any dental work or certain tests or operations. Let the dentist or doctor who is caring for you know that you have an ICD.

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