What do you do?

Hello all! My name is Michael Schaap and I am new to this group. Actually, I think I posted a few times when I got my unit. Here's the question.... what do you do when your defib unit goes off? I am VERY CONFUSED as to what to do.

Last Wensday I had what I thougth was the flu. Came home with body aches, chills, shacking, sweating like crazy, you know the symtoms. Crawled into bed and fell asleep. Then what happened is I thought my defib unit fired. Heard the big BOOM and woke up as it started the daylights out of me. All the flu symtoms was GONE. I called my on-call doc and he said to go to the ER since I had the flu symtoms as well as it firing.

I got the the ER and was admited with no problems... hell I did not even have to wait. RN said my heart was racing and I needed to be admited to the ER till they found a room. That was 10:30pm on Wensday. 3am on Thursday finally came and still nobody had interrigated the unit. I sent my wife home. 7:30 am came rolling around and I finally talked to a doctor. Nobody had interrigated the unit yet.Wife came back... VERY PISSED. And like all wives you dont want to piss her off... so she did some 'interrigating' herself... with the RN. That was 10:30am. She left for some lunch came back like at 2pm... still nobody interrigated the unit :( She really went off on the nurse this time so the Heart Institute was paged again (was like 3rd time from what they had told us). Oh and by this time the "Patient Advocate" showed up. She was a joke if ever there was something funny about a Patient Advocate. She listened to us to what has been happening, then defended the hospital with every BS excuse she couldl think of. Including that a doctor is needed to interigate the defb unit! 4pm on Thursday came rolling around and they finally showed up to interrigate the unit. It had not fired. Nothing. I explained her what happened. That I thought I had the flu and all symtoms disapperaed after what I thougth was my unit firing... but she said that it did not register as a firing. The unit as she sees it was working perfectly normal. She also told us an interesting this... her hours are from 7 to 3pm. The first time she had been told I was lieing there was at 2:30pm!

While she was still working the RN came in... we found a room for you she said. Why do I need a room.... it did not fire.... why am I even lieing here for 16 hours? She said that my doc had admitted me and I'm off to the second floor. They hooked me up on the second floor and all... doc came in and asked me WHY ARE YOU HERE? This is the SAME DOC that they had told me had admitted me?!?!?!

He told me that the blood test showed my potassium low. It was 3.2 and he wants me to be at 4. Also my heart was still beating too fast... like... 105 at that time. Well he found no reason for me to stay and I was in a car heading home an hour later. I had a follow up apt with him the next day anyways (was already schedualed).

Found out by myself why my heart was going fast. For some reason and I still cant figure out why, I had not been taking my coreg. It had just slipped past me.... cant find bottle or anything. Called CVS and they said the last time I filled it was SEPTERMBER 13TH! Whch means I had not been taking it for almost 2 MONTHS?!?!

Where I stand now: I'm back on coreg. Had a follow up apt and he is concerned about my potassium as well as my blood sugar levels so he had me go for another blood test. Find out more next week.

Back to the original question.... what do you do when your unit fires? The RN and on call doc says to go to the ER when it fires. The person who interrigated said to wait for it to fire 3 times. Boy that will be a lot of fun. My doc says to come in after the first..... oy... very confusing.....



What I would do.............

by NH - 2007-12-08 01:12:55

I don't have a defib or really have a technical answer to your question. BUT WHAT I WOULD DO IS TRY TO FIND ANOTHER DOCTOR. It seems that this is a story of total confusion and very poor patient care, if you want my opinion. Just think, what if it had been a life or death situation, would you have made it? With nurses and doctors like that and their UNATTENTION to detail, you could have been in real trouble.

Sorry for no technical help, but my advice would be to take a long, long look at your choice of a doctor, hospital, etc.

Welcome to the club, you will find it very informative here.

Take care,

Lesson learned!

by auntiesamm - 2007-12-08 03:12:55

I think you learned what happens when you don't take your Coreg! You are very lucky you are okay. Please, please take all your meds exactly as prescribed. You don't want to drop dead and on the autopsy have cause of death be "Forget Coreg". LOL You want it to read "went out kicking and raising heck"! Take care and God keep you safe!


by papaknight - 2007-12-08 06:12:06

Sorry to hear about your problems but glad you survived them this time. I think the most important thing you can do in your situation is learn from it and try to find a doctor that understands your situation and will communicate with you. You are lucky to have a wife thaqt has the nerve to raise a little hell when you seem lost in teh shuffle. I have had an ICD for over 5 years and havae also been told it did not fire when I know that it did. Low potassium can cause your heart to gointo taccacardia and stop. It happened to me. Dont take anyones word for anyting. Learn about your unit and if possible get the home interrogation unit so you can phone line in your units data. Watch the recall list and do your homework. Best of luck to you and yours.

So what would you do...

by michaelschaap - 2007-12-09 06:12:13

Thanks to all! Yeah I consider myself very lucky both in finding that I was not taking my med and for having my wife. She can be very assertive when she needs to be. Wanted to state my question again because I am still very confused to what to do and thought it might have gotten lost in the long post.

When your unit fires, what do you do? I had the on call doc tell me to get to the ER. I had the tech who sees guys and gals like me all day long tell me to wait three times. The ER nurse also told me to come in once it fires as well as my doc. Some people in another hospital told me to wait 3 times. VERY CONFUSING.

So what do you do when your unit fires?

The Answer

by Larry1t - 2007-12-12 08:12:14

Hi Michael,

Here is your answer:

The FIRST icd firing event ... they want to know about it at the ER where it can be interrogated to see what caused the ICD to give a therapy shock.

Thereafter, you don't have to go to ER everytime, unless you get multiple shocks. Just mention it to Dr over the phone.


You know you're wired when...

Your old device becomes a paper weight for your desk.

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