Cardiac Implantable Devices

Author:  Antony French / Editor:  Jason M Kendall / Reviewer: Pragya Malick / Code: A1Published: 07/04/2021 


Cardiac rhythm management devices (pacemakers and implantable cardioverter-defibrillators, or ICDs) are a constantly evolving and improving field. Implantation rates are rising, and consequently presentation of these patients to the Emergency Department is increasingly common. Assessment of device patients can be highly complex, but many problems can be dealt with by non-specialists who have a good understanding of the basic principles.

After completing this session you will be able to:

  • Describe the types of device in common use and their basic function
  • Recognise the features of different types of implantable devices
  • Assess and investigate device malfunction
  • Manage device malfunction in the ED
  • Appreciate how devices may impact on other medical issues and presentations


  1. NICE. Implantable cardioverter defibrillators and cardiac resynchronisation therapy for arrhythmias and heart failure. Technology appraisal guidance [TA314]. 2014.
  2. Brignole M, Auricchio A, Baron-Esquivias G, 2013 ESC Guidelines on cardiac pacing and cardiac resynchronization therapy. Developed in collaboration with the European Heart Rhythm Association (EHRA), European Heart Journal, Volume 34, Issue 29, 1 August 2013, Pages 22812329.

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