Anyone hear of something like this?

My dad had a device (pacemaker/defib.) implanted a few years ago and towards the end of July his device went off--not once, not twice, but almost twenty times. From what they can tell, the problem was with the leads and it "leaked" electricity causing the device to read the heart rate as 3x faster than it really was causing it to continuously go off. At the hospital they finally got it to stop by placing a giant magnet on his chest until they were able to get a St. Jude employee to come over and de-activate it.

He now has a new device (the incident completely drained the battery) but now it has caused our family to wonder if anyone has ever heard of anything like this, and/or if this kind of response seems to be on the inappropriate side (as in, overkill). My dad was lucky in that there was no damage done to his heart, but that was due to the workers in the ER.


zap storms

by luckyloo - 2007-08-24 03:08:30


these are called "zap storms". if you visit a website called "the zapper" you can hear about others experiencing the same thing. it's a defib support group like this one. i have an ICD and fear zap storms. i fractured a lead playing tennis but didn't know it. the fractured sent a message to the defib that it was an errratic heartbeat so i got an inappropriate shock. the interrogation showed multiple times the battery charged but i must have stopped moving because it aborted the shock except for the one time.

my cousin received 40 shocks because his settings were wrong. an ambulance took him to the er and it was there they turned it off. they had to make sure the zaps were appropriate vs. inappropriate. there are other reasons for zap storms.

hopefully your dad won't ever experience that again!!!


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My eight year old son had a pacemaker since he was 6 months old. He does very well, plays soccer, baseball, and rides his bike. I am so glad he is not ashamed of his pacemaker. He will proudly show his "battery" to anyone.