Imagine this scenario. Your longterm cardiac cripple patient – the one you successfully rescuscitated from a VF arrest some 8 years ago and who has eked out an existence due to an implantable defibrillator – has finally succumbed to a chronic illness and is deceased.
You’ve managed to wade through the completion of the death certificate – but 3 hours later are telephoned by the Funeral Director who tells me that the patient is to be cremated.
Here’s the question – does the ICD need to be removed? If so, does it need to be deactivated first? And can you do this as a “Medical Macgyver” with just a multitool and a strong arm?
Needless to say it is a Saturday and the cardiology clinic is closed until Monday. The nearest tertiary hospital is 600km away…
Would you cut the wires?