ICD and High altitude

I had my ICD placed 3 months back and going to Colorado for summer vacation. Just little nervous about visiting a high altitude place because last time I visited Denver when I had my PM , I felt little woozy. Just wondering if high altitudes have any effect on people with pacing devices.



Not specifically PM folk

by crustyg - 2021-07-06 02:47:18

High altitude means lowered O2 pressure and it's this that can make you feel woozy.  There's nothing in your PM/ICD that measures the altitude or PO2.

If you can, take time working up to high altitude, although I accept that's not always possible.  There are a number of compensations and adaptations to living and working with reduced inspired O2 and they aren't all good for you.  You'll rapidly become dehydrated, and lose potassium, your exercise tolerance will be reduced and your heart muscle has less oxygen delivered to it with each relaxation.

How fit you are has nothing to do with the chances of developing acute mountain sickness - it's that unpredictable, but it's very unlikely below 3000m - one of the reasons that they hold the cabin pressure of commercial airliners to the equivalent of 9000 ft (about 3000m) on long-haul flights (remember those?).

Enjoy your vacation

by Gemita - 2021-07-06 03:38:05


Cannot answer specifically on high altitude and ICD, but high altitude may affect the reason for your ICD ?arrhythmia(s)? or potentially make these worse which may possibly have contributed to your previous symptom(s) at high altitude?  You might want to run it past your doctors and go to Colorado with some additional meds (as a pill in the pocket rescue package) if needed, to quieten any potentially heightened activity down and to prevent the ICD from activating.  Have a wonderful, safe time


by Persephone - 2021-07-06 18:55:44

Yes, try to stay on top of the possible dehydration, especially if you're flying there and could arrive a little dehydrated. I know traveling and drinking fluids can be inconvenient partners, but worth it. I hope you have a great time!

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