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rtrigo, May 6,  2019  2:56am EST

Defibrillator Side Effects


I am new to the group.  I had an epidode in 2013 after working out where my heartbeat got up to 235bpm.  I was given a hit by the defib in the amublance, two months later I had a catheter ablation.  Doc basically told me to try and live a stress free life.  (yeah sure)  Fast forward six years to 2019, I have another episode and have to get hit again by the defib in the amubalnce.  No surgery this time.  The doc pumped me with adrenaline but could not duplicate what happened.  He said the only link to the 2013 episode was the low level of potassium. He changed my BP meds and eat leafy greens.  Since I've been hit twice by the defib I've noticed my hearing isnt so great.  I've experienced flashback where I can feel the electricity run through my chest.  Just wondering if anyone else has had such side effects.  That defib is no joke and I felt like a mac truck hit me but i survived.

5 Replies
  • BorAntolic
    BorAntolic, May 6,  2019  6:26am EST

    I do hope you were put in a short general anesthesia before you were shocked/cardioverted. General anesthesia - even short - definitely is not something to be done on a regular basis if it is not absolutely needed. Also, cardioversion is avoided, but of course performed, if there is hemodynamic instability (low blood pressure) and the arrhytmia cannot be controlled  quickly with drugs. I however have not heard complaints from patients about hearing loss. There are multiple reasons for that and before one concludes this is because of defibrillator shock other causes (which are far more prevalent) should be excluded. 

    I would suggest consultation with specialist. 


    Bor Antolic, MD

  • Spencer
    Spencer, May 6,  2019  4:17pm EST

    I have been cardioverted a total of six times.  I noticed no ill effects outside of some cool electrical burns.  

  • rtrigo
    rtrigo, May 7,  2019  12:05am EST

    The both times I was shocked with the defib I was not under any type of anesthesia.  I was in the ambulance both times and time was of the essense.  The doctor told me (both times) that the EMT saved my life by shocking me.  I did have a burn on my chest of a perfect square as well.  I swear that I must be having flashbacks as I found the whole ordeal to be traumatic.  I am seeing an ENT later this month whom I mentioined the hearing issues to.  She had no explanation for it either.  I thought I would consult with others who have had experience with the defib to see if they perhaps had the same side effects.

  • BorAntolic
    BorAntolic, May 7,  2019  11:27am EST

    So if I understand correctly, ICD was not implanted? What was the ablation done for? Vtach? Did they say where it was coming from? 


  • rtrigo
    rtrigo, May 22,  2019  2:42pm EST

    Sorry for the late response.  No ICD was implated. Doc said I didnt need it. The ablation was for the Vtach.  The doc was trying to replicate what happened but was unable to.  I was fully sedated.  As for February of 2019, I was awake while they pumped me with adrenaline, trying again to replicate what happened.  They were unable to do so again.  The cardiologist just told me to eats lot of leafy greens since he said my potassium levels and magnesium levels were low both in 2013 and in Feb.  He could not find anything else wrong with me.  I can tell you that my anxiety level has gone up.  I've had a few anxiety attacks and thats' new to me.  I'm not on any medication for my heart of anxiety.

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