DOI: 10.1161/circ.148.suppl_1.18146 ISSN: 0009-7322

Abstract 18146: Deactivation Status of Defibrillation at the End of Life in Patients With Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillators

shoko narumi, Yusuke Kondo, Masahiro Nakano, Takatsugu Kajiyama, Ryo Ito, Toshinori Chiba, SATOKO RYUZAKI, Yutaka Yoshino, Yuya Komai, Yukiko Takanashi, Yoshio Kobayashi
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

Background: Implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICDs) are effective in preventing sudden cardiac death due to fatal arrhythmias. However, defibrillation is also known to cause physical and emotional distress to the patients. When patients with an ICD are approaching the end of life, the guidelines on palliative care in cardiovascular diseases recommend that the benefits and burdens of ICDs are fully explained to the patients and that a policy regarding the deactivation of defibrillation function is discussed. However, there are few reports on the therapy status of ICD patients in the end-stage of life.Aim: To investigate the deactivation status of defibrillation in patients with an ICD.

Methods: We retrospectively analyzed ICD database at our hospital and studied 143 ICD patients who died from 2006 to June 2023. The frequency of ICD therapy delivered before death and information about the discussion of deactivation and do not attempt resuscitation (DNAR) decisions were reviewed using medical charts.

Results: Of 143 patients, 45 (31%) patients in the end-stage of life were assigned to DNAR and 24 (17%) patients was explained deactivation of ICD therapies at the time of DNAR order. Fifteen (10%) patients, including 11 patients in the end-stage heart failure, underwent deactivation and 2 patients received ICD therapies after DNAR order. Nine (6.2%) patients did not undergo deactivation. Of those, 4 patients received ICD shock therapies. Twenty-one patients (15%) were not given the explanation for the deactivation after DNAR order. Of those, 4 patients received ICD shock therapies.

Conclusion: Our study shows that only 10% of Japanese ICD patients in the end-stage of life underwent deactivation of ICD therapies. Discussions regarding ICD deactivation in palliative care are necessary to reduce the risk of painful shocks and distress during the end of life.

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