Your heart beats (pumps blood) because special cells in your heart (the sinus node, your heart's natural pacemaker) produce electrical impulses.
The impulses cause your heart to contract and pump blood.
Your sinus node causes those impulses to travel down to the muscle walls of your heart, causing your heart to contract.
Sometimes, things can go wrong with your heart's electrical impulses, causing a lifethreatening, rapid, irregular heartbeat.
This irregular heartbeat is known as ventricular tachycardia or ventricular fibrillation.
To treat either of these, an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) may be needed. An ICD delivers an electrical shock that converts the irregular rhythm into a normal rhythm.
Allina Health's Patient Education Department, Helping Your Heart, fourth edition, cvs-ahc-90648: Allina Health's Patient Education Department, Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (ICD), cvs-ahc-13919
Allina Health's Patient Education Department experts
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