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If you have suffered from a heart attack, heart disease or any other similar cardio or heart health related problem, you may have been fitted with an internal defibrillator. These tiny devices are around the size of a matchbox and are implanted into the chest. When the heart stops beating, this is detected by the clever device, which fires a jolt of electricity into the heart in order to kickstart it again.
Designed to save lives, these tiny devices can greatly increase the wellness and wellbeing of cardio patients, and can help to save lives, as they jolt the body back into life instantly, rather than requiring others to get the patient to hospital in time.
There are instances, however, when such a device can be a curse rather than a blessing, such as when someone has reached old age and a natural point of death. If they are still fitted with one of these devices, it can actually lead to a long, drawn-out and extremely distressing death, as every time the body reaches a natural point of death, the device will then shock it back into existence again. There have been instances where distressed patients have received up to 30 shocks in the moments before their death.
Patients are now being advised to think carefully about when would be the right time to have their devices switched off, in order to avoid this kind of scenario. Hospices don’t have the ability to switch these off at the time of death as it requires specialist equipment that is only available in a number of hospitals.
With these devices being implanted under the collarbone of around 9,000 people every year, the implications of their effect in later life is one that needs to be seriously considered.