Facial burns from shock therapy

  • by LoriF
  • 2018-12-17 05:56:30
  • ICDs

Hello. Has anyone experienced “burns” and bleeding after receiving shock therapy? My device shocked me but it also sent a shock thru my face and lips that left me bleeding and red streaks on my upper lip and cheeks. 😱. I have received one other shock in the past 17 years and it was nothing like this one. I have the same leads for 10 years but just received a new device 3 months ago .


This is Extremely...

by donr - 2018-12-17 10:06:15

...interesting.  There are at least THREE recorded incidents of Defib shocks leaving he host's body.  The first I can recall hapened in Florida - Ft Myers, I think - when an older couple in a hot tub had a defib fire in one member.  The second member grabbed the other's arm to help. rec'd a shock that was timed wrong for their heart thythm & got a FATAL pacing spike during the T wave.  Apparently confirmed by a medical examiner autopsy.  Second happened in Germany in an ER between a host's Defib firing and a  tech trying to help.  Non-fatal. Third happened to a friiend (RN) in a Cardio's office. Patient being examined,  Defin started to fire, RN grabbed his arm & got shocked.  Non-fatal.

Now this is evidence that it can happen. The question before us is HOW AND WHY it happens.  For the Defib current surge to  leave the host's body there has to be an electrical pathway for it to leave and REURN.  Consider, for a moment, birds sitting on BARE, VERY HIGH VOLTAGE cross country lines working at tens of thousands of volts.  Why don't they get electrocuterd and litter the countryside w/ burning feathers?  Because  the bird's feet are so close together on the wire that there is no significant voltage difference  between the feet to force current through the bird - even if their feet are wet! 

Why wet feet?  Because water with any dissolved minerals in it is an excellent conductor of electricity.  Recall my three incidents - HOT TUB - all sorts of minerals dissolved in trhat water.  FATAL.  Electrical payth was defib - host's arm- sercond person - water - host's total skin area in water - defib.  Other two cases were dry skin in medical faclity.  Dry skin is quite a good insulator, believe it or not.  Has a dead layer on top. 

Now - for your consideration:  Either the exit or entry point for your shock HAD to ne the mouth.  Mouth is wet, lots of minerals in saliva.  There was probably an arc at the lips.  Lip skin is pretty thin, very sensitive.  Therefore w/ an arc, you got splitting of the skin.  Recall - was there any contact between the lips and any kind of electrical conductor?  Were you on oxygen through the mouth?  How about the nose?  Red  streaks on lip & nose could show patyhway of electrical energy.  Eating?  Fork or spoon in mouth?  Sitting at metal topped table?    Any bare skin touching any other conductor?  Feel shock at any other point on body? 

It appears that you are asking  an implied question - "Is it possible for this to happen?".  I have answered that question with a resounding "YES!"

Did it happen to you?  MOST LIKELY.  You have the answers in how you recall what you were touching at the time of occurrence.

Forgot to ask - where were you when it happened?



Facial Burns

by LoriF - 2018-12-17 17:33:25

Thank you for your replies.. I have the Medtronic Sprint Fidelis lead that was recalled. The shock and the burns are definitely a result of that. I will be having surgery Wednesday to have the lead removed . I have not gotten an explanation of how or why the leads burnt me. 

As for what I was doing st the time was sitting .. I was taking my glasses off so maybe that had something to do with it and the burns are primarily in the left side of my face ..


by BarbD - 2018-12-18 12:27:25

Was the shock appropriate due to a dangerous arrythmia or was it inapprppriate due to the bad lead?  COuld they have just capped off the bad lead rather than remove it?

Facial burns

by LoriF - 2019-01-12 12:16:29

Sorry for the late reply.. the shock was an inappropriate shock due to the faulty lead. And unfortunately they will not be capping  it off. I am still awaiting the surgery due to health insurance and administrative problems and falling through the cracks of the system at every turn. I was sent home with a life vest almost a month ago and here still I wait.. 

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