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My husband had fibrillation few months ago, and now his doctors recommended him to implant defibrillator. I have heard that implant-able cardioverter defibrillators have been very useful in preventing sudden death in patients with known, sustained ventricular tachycardia or fibrillation. I realize this might help him very much but I can’t understand the way defibrillator works. I just know he’s got such a problem he really shouldn’t risk any more. That’s why I want to know more about defibrillators.

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Studies are now being done to find out how best to use defibrillators. Also these studies were exploring whether they may have a role in preventing cardiac arrest in high-risk patients who haven't had, but are at risk for, life-threatening ventricular arrhythmias. Anyway, what you should understand is that an implant-able cardioverter defibrillator is used in patients at risk for recurrent, sustained ventricular tachycardia or fibrillation. The device is connected to leads positioned inside the heart or it can be positioned on its surface. These leads are used to deliver electrical shocks, sense the cardiac rhythm and sometimes pace the heart, as it might be needed. The various leads of defibrillator are tunnelled to a pulse generator, which is implanted in a pouch beneath the skin of the chest or abdomen. These generators are typically a little larger than a wallet and have electronics that automatically monitor. Those are used to treat heart rhythms recognized as abnormal. Newer devices of defibrillator are smaller and have simpler lead systems. They can be installed through blood vessels, eliminating the need for open chest surgery.
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