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Nurses unite to improve cardiovascular practice
Date:2/10/2010

engers or members of the public if they get behind the wheel of a car. A consensus statement, from the European Heart Rhythm Association (EHRA), states that patients should not drive a vehicle for three months after being fitted with an ICD for secondary prevention, four weeks following an ICD for primary prevention and furthermore should be permanently excluded from professional driving. Individual countries have introduced different regulations.

With driving considered by many people to be a basic necessity of modern life, it's hardly surprising that patients report imposed driving bans as the hardest aspect of ICD implantation. One study suggests that as many as 70 % of patients who have been fitted with ICDs continue to drive, with further statistics suggesting that up to half of all patients drive daily.

Norekval , from Haukleland University Hospital (Bergen, Norway) will make the case that adequate discharge education and follow-up of patients and their family is pivotal to achieve adherence to driving bans, and that nurses are among the best placed health professionals to undertake this.

"Nurses have a really important role to play in underlining the possible serious consequences to patients of driving after having ICDs implanted," said Norekval, adding that the period when patients are still in hospital following implantation offers the best opportunity for counselling them. "Nurses shouldn't give blanket advice. They need to consider each patient's individual situation, and suggest practical solutions to help them overcome the problem."

Suggestions, she added, might include persuading men to let their wives drive for the period of the ban, or exploring local public transport options. It is important, she stressed, to get patients to repeat back the information to ensure that they have understood it. Regular technical check-ups, she added, can provide the ideal opportunity to check whether patients are adhering to advice
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Contact: ESC Press Office
press@escardio.org
33-049-294-8627
European Society of Cardiology
Source:Eurekalert

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