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Discharge advice for patients with subcutaneous cardiac defibrillator (S ICD)

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What will happen before I leave hospital?

Your Subcutaneous Cardiac Defibrillator (S-ICD) will be checked by a cardiac physiologist, who will then arrange for you to have the device checked again approximately six to eight weeks after the implant date. They will give you a S-ICD identification card with the details of your device. Keep this card with you at all times.

The wound is closed with dissolvable sutures (stitches). You will be given two dressings to take home: please ask the nurse if this doesn’t happen.

How should I care for my wound at home?

Always wash your hands before caring for your wound. Leave the dressing on for the first two days and then replace the dressing and keep covered for a further two days. After this you may leave the wound without a dressing.

Talc, deodorant and perfume should not be used near the wound.

Do not immerse the wound site in water for seven days after the procedure, so no hot baths or swimming. Showers are recommended after 24 hours, but do not wash the wound directly

Should I limit my activities?

You should avoid lifting heavy objects until your first appointment with us. You should also avoid any other movements that create pressure to your wound sites. This will help with the healing of your wound sites.

What should I look out for?

Keep an eye on the wound site over the next five days. If you have any bleeding or discharge, or notice any redness or swelling, opening of the wound, or excessive tenderness, please contact the Cardiac Care Unit.

If the S-ICD delivers an electric shock it may feel like a heavy thump in your chest. You need to contact the Cardiac Device team as soon as possible so your device can be checked by a cardiac physiologist. Please leave a message if it is out of hours. If you are feeling unwell after the S-ICD has delivered a shock, or the device delivers repeated shocks, you should dial 999 to be taken to your nearest Accident and Emergency Department.

What happens next?

A detailed report will be sent to your GP which will be copied to you.

You will be seen again in the outpatients clinic. An appointment will be sent to you through the post.

Contact details for the Cardiac Care Unit

If you have any concerns about your wound site, or specific to your cardiac procedure during your first week at home, please contact us.

Telephone: 01273 696955, extension 64484. You can call this number at any time.

Please call the Cardiac Device Team if you think your device has given you a shock:
Cardiac Device Team: 01273 696955, extension 64090. Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm.

Other useful contacts are:

Arrhythmia Nurses: 01273 696955, extension 67041. Monday to Friday, 8am to 4pm.

Cardiac Rehabilitation Nurses: 01273 696955, extension 64009. Monday to Friday, 8am to 5pm.

For more general concerns, please contact your GP.

This information is intended for patients receiving care in Brighton & Hove or Haywards Heath.

The information here is for guidance purposes only and is in no way intended to replace professional clinical advice by a qualified practitioner.

Publication Date: October 2021

Review Date: July 2024

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