Navigation Links
Defibrillators Not Dangerous While Driving

Study finds heart patients with the devices aren't prone to accidents

MONDAY, Nov. 26 (HealthDay News) -- The defibrillators that are implanted in people for instant correction of abnormal heartbeats pose no special risks for heart patients who drive, researchers report.

"What this confirms is what we already thought, that overall there is not a huge risk in this population," said study lead author Dr. Christine M. Albert, director for the Center for Arrhythmia Prevention at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston.

About 50,000 defibrillators are implanted annually in the United States. Among the famous recipients is Vice President Dick Cheney, who experienced an irregular heartbeat Monday and was being examined by his doctors.

There have been worries that the shock delivered by the device to correct an abnormal heartbeat might be dangerous for drivers, Albert said.

The study included 1,188 people with such a device, whose formal name is implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD). The patients were followed for an average of 562 days, during which time the devices delivered a total of 193 shocks within one hour of driving -- a rate of one shock for every 25,116 person-hours driving. None of the shocks resulted in an accident.

Overall, the study found that the incidence of having an ICD shock was not higher while a participant was driving. One oddity in the findings was that an ICD shock was twice as likely to be delivered during the 30 minutes after someone drove a car, Albert said, an indication of possible strains caused by driving.

"These data provide reassurance that driving by ICD patients should not translate into an important rate of personal or public injury," the researchers wrote.

The findings are published in the Dec. 4 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

"This is very strong evidence that our worries were not based on fact but were theoretical," said Dr. Bruce Wilkoff, director of cardiac and tachyarrhythmia devices at the Cleveland Clinic.

But common sense factors into the safety issue of ICDs and drivers, Wilkoff added. "People who have frequent shocks tend not to drive in the first place," he said. Twenty percent of the ICD recipients in the study did not drive at all, Wilkoff noted.

Current guidelines say that someone who is given an ICD after experiencing a major arrhythmia -- an irregular heartbeat -- should not drive for at least one week after the implant. The one-week restriction also applies for patients who have not experienced an arrhythmia to allow for recovery from the surgery. Driving restrictions then should be decided during consultation with a physician, Albert said.

In practice, that works out to "don't drive when you're not feeling well," Wilkoff said.

More information

Learn more about ICDs from the American Heart Association.

SOURCES: Christine M. Albert, M.D., director, Center for Arrhythmia Prevention, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston; Bruce Wilkoff, M.D., director of cardiac and tachyarrhythmia devices, Cleveland Clinic; Dec. 4, 2007, Journal of the American College of Cardiology

Copyright©2007 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Women Less Likely to Get Heart Defibrillators
2. Plaintiffs Obtain $240 Million Amended Settlement In Guidant Defibrillators Products Liability Litigation
3. MRI finds breast cancer before it becomes dangerous
4. Dangerous Liaisons
5. New Report: Dangerous Drug Side Effects and Deaths Doubled Since 1998... Seniors Hit Hardest
6. Running shipwreck simulations backwards helps identify dangerous waves
7. Antidepressants and painkillers - a dangerous combination
8. Corrective sex education may make sexual offenders more dangerous
9. FDA petition would protect public from dangerous drugs
10. DOCTORS OPPOSE MARYLAND VACCINE ROUNDUP: Expect Dangerous Reactions When Children Are Treated Like Cattle
11. Another Reason Not to Smoke While Pregnant: Birth Defects
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Defibrillators Not Dangerous While Driving
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... 2015 , ... MOSI recently added two state-of-the-art augmented reality (AR) experiences from ... to their collection of interactive exhibits within the Kids In Charge! building. In collaboration ... to get closer than ever to a range of animals as they drink, sleep ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... 2015 , ... The world of hair transplants and restoration is filled with ... and procedures have been in use for many years and are among the most ... M.D. has utilized many of these methods over the years, he also keeps an ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... 30, 2015 , ... On Saturday, October 24th, 2015, at the Mill Race ... event, a 5K walk known as “Making Strides Against Breast Cancer”. Patients and staff ... also located in Battle Creek, joined in for this campaign that sought to raise ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... 2015 , ... The presidential race normally deals with political issues of national ... national news story when Donald Trump makes disparaging remarks about Hillary Clinton’s hairstyle? It ... anyone wants to admit when it comes to how people are viewed by others. ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... , ... November 30, 2015 , ... According to an ... Decker made a brave but slightly unusual choice to show her Instagram followers that ... pre-pregnancy form may have been pre-mature. Saying that she didn’t “want to mislead any ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/30/2015)... 2015 --> --> ... Market by Product (Soft Tissue, All Tissue, Dental Welding Lasers), ... and Geography - Global Forecast to 2020", published by MarketsandMarkets, ... a CAGR of 5.2% during the forecast period from 2015 ... and 62 Figures spread through 167 P ages and ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... Oramed Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: ORMP ), a clinical-stage ... delivery systems, announced today it has signed definitive licensing ... of Technologies Co., Ltd. ("HTIT") for exclusive rights to ... China , Hong Kong ... signed at the Israel Knesset (Parliament). ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... , Nov. 30, 2015   Nuance Communications, Inc. ... National Decision Support Company (NDSC) today jointly announced ... collaboration capabilities that utilize the American College of Radiology,s ... provider organizations to comply with current and emerging ... --> By combining clinical decision support, ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: