Monday, December 10, 2007


"Kb" left an interesting question about her husband on an earlier post:
"hubby had a heart transplant earlier this year and wants his ICD device back to keep. (editors note: I assumed he wanted it back when his device was due to be changed due to a low battery condition.) I can't understand this. Do you know why someone would want that back??? It's like keeping your tonsils in jar."
To which I answered:
There are lots of reasons why people would want to keep their defibrillator, just as people want to keep souvenirs.

For many, having an ICD requires courage and trust. Once in a while, someone's life is saved by one. Many, many patients grow attached to their device since, for a while, it was part of "them."
And then there's the curiosity part: what does it look like? is it heavy? , etc. (Most patients don't see it before it's implanted).

And don't forget that it costs a pretty penny, too.

So for lots of reasons, many folks want to have their device after it's explanted. I would suggest he return it, (so the company can do their quality assurance), but then ask that it be returned to him. (They'll usually do this).

After all, he paid for it (likely via insurance).
But there was one other thing I forgot to mention as to why it's good to send off those defibrillators to the manufacturers: Sometime's there's residual battery life on them, so the manufacturer disconnects the capacitors and renders them incapable of inadvertantly shocking you as you try to stick a fork in the high voltage terminal of the device "just to see what would happen."

Not that I have ever heard of anyone doing this, mind you.


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