An Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator support group will be available to ICD patients starting August 28th by the Nebraska Heart Institute. Becky Robertson, a team leader in the Arrhythmia and Electrophysiology Department and leader of the ICD support group, believes that this group will give patients and their families much needed support, education, and encouragement throughout the process of receiving an ICD. Robertson, who has over a decade of experience leading support groups, knows that patients who talk with others who have been through similar experiences helps many device patients feel less alone when deciding and undergoing an implant procedure.
The ICD support group will include a presentation that will provide information about ICD’s and what they do, components and wires of ICD’s, follow up visits, and what to do if you receive a shock from your device. The presentation will have information about battery replacements, who is a candidate for an ICD, and time for question and answers that patients and families may have about the process and care of an ICD. Understanding the device helps patients and family members become more at ease.
“It is important for patients who have received an implanted cardiac device to have a place to tell their stories and share their experiences leading up to and after a device implant,” says Robertson. “Family members of device patients also find it helpful to talk with other caregivers who have been through similar experiences. Family members usually are the ones providing the support throughout the process of deciding to have an implant, undergoing surgery, and learning to live with a device.”