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Revised Deactivation of Implantable Cardiac Defibrillators at End of Life

The Agency for Clinical Innovation is now seeking feedback on the revised the NSW Guideline on Deactivation of Implantable Cardiac Defibrillators (ICDs) at the End of Life. This document will replace the current guideline (2014).

ICDs are devices which are inserted to prevent sudden cardiac death from life-threatening arrhythmias. The device continuously monitors the electrical rate and rhythm of the heart and if certain arrhythmias are detected, a tachycardia therapy (either anti-tachycardia pacing (ATP) or a defibrillation ‘shock’) may be delivered to revert the heart into its usual rhythm.

When a patient with an ICD is in the terminal stages of their life, it may no longer be appropriate for the device to remain active and consideration should be given to program the device to a non-conversion therapy.

These best-practice guidelines have been developed to assist clinicians to manage ATP and ICD shock deactivation and facilitate a peaceful death for patients at the end of life, regardless of the life-limiting cause.

Please provide feedback using the link below by Friday, 19 November 2021

If staff have any queries about the guideline, please contact Bridie Carr at or call 0437 035 984.

This form is accessible via distributed link.