Who Should Receive An ICD For Heart Failure, And How Reliable Are ICDs?

Question: Who should receive an ICD for heart failure, and how reliable are ICDs?

Answer: An ICD, or defibrillator, should be offered to any patient who has a reduced ejection fraction or a heart function with an ejection fraction of less than 40 percent. This goes for patients who have had heart attacks in the past as well as patients who have no known coronary artery disease.

Patients who have also been revived from sudden cardiac death in the past, regardless of what their ejection fraction, should be offered a cardiac defibrillator. Patients who have these implanted have very little problems. If a patient has a cardiac defibrillator implanted, it can last for many years without having had the battery replaced.