Catalog item:

Implanted Heart Devices at the End of Life (AAHPM)

Campaign Series: Choosing Wisely
Medical Category: Procedures
Article Type: Advice
Language: Plain English, Spanish
Affiliation: American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine
Format: PDF
Most recent update: 11/24/2013
An ICD, or implantable cardioverter defibrillator, helps the heart beat normally. For many people with heart disease, this device can be a lifesaver. But if you are near death, those shocks can make things worse. Here's why.