Can altitude affect an ICD?

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Carl Portman
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Can altitude affect an ICD?

Post by Carl Portman » October 20th, 2009, 4:01 am

I thought I would ask since I realise that if I do get to Denver and other places there are some altitude issues there in the mountains etc. I know that going on an aircraft is perfectly safe.
Thanks.
Carl
Right Ventricular Dysplasia
St. Jude ICD implanted 28 September 2009
Ablation on 5th January 2011
Ablation on 26 October 2011
Sotalol and Mexilitine tablets
St Jude generator replacement on 02 January 2014

Elizabeth Martineau

Re: Can altitude affect an ICD?

Post by Elizabeth Martineau » October 20th, 2009, 5:27 am

I've taken a trip to the mountains here since my ICD and I was fine. Didn't run any marathons or anything, but wasn't affected at all.

But if you bake brownies, it does take longer :D

Also, I think attitude is more important than altitude dancee

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sunny4az
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Re: Can altitude affect an ICD?

Post by sunny4az » October 20th, 2009, 8:52 am

Carl Portman wrote:I thought I would ask since I realise that if I do get to Denver and other places there are some altitude issues there in the mountains etc. I know that going on an aircraft is perfectly safe.
Thanks.
Carl
I spent a month in Denver this year with no problems and have been as high as 11,000 feet on mountain passes with no problems. If you have respiratory system problems, high altitudes could be a problem.
Joel in sunny Arizona


Medtronics Maximo 7232CX. Mexiletine 150MG 2X, Coreg CR 40MG 1x, Lisinopril 2.5MG 1X, Plavix 75MG 1X

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freckles1880
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Re: Can altitude affect an ICD?

Post by freckles1880 » October 20th, 2009, 8:55 am

I spend most of my time here. Broomfield is actually a few feet higher than Denver. (I don't mean drugs). I don't know of any problems with altitude and ICD's. I got no special warnings and feel good.
Bob

Medtronic-Visia AF implanted 7-8-2016 stayed with the with 6947 Sprint Quattro Secure lead. Original ICD implant 2-4-2009. ICD turned off 10-6-17 as stage 4 lung cancer taking over.
Major heart attack, carcinogenic shock and quad bypass 10-13-08 post myocardial infarction, old inferior MI complicated by shock and CHF, combined, Atherosclerosis, abdominal aortic Aneurysm, Seroma 7 cm, left leg. Stent in the left main vein 10-7-2014

My "Wardens" are my bride of 54+ years and my daughters.

Mark

Re: Can altitude affect an ICD?

Post by Mark » October 20th, 2009, 9:23 am

Interesting question, and thanks for the personal responses as you guys are actually living in higher altitudes. My question is: within the realm of a higher altitude and air is thinner, therefore breathing is different and different for supply of oxygen, not only with an ICD but with certain heart conditions- is it possible that higher altitudes can actually cause some sort of programming problems with the ICD? FC??

Good topic Carl, many different situations to think about! :)

*karenb*
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Re: Can altitude affect an ICD?

Post by *karenb* » October 20th, 2009, 1:04 pm

I'd suggest that it's more likely to be the reason for having the ICD that could cause problems than the ICD itself. If someone has a heart condition that is affected by altitude then it's a good idea to avoid it imo! (Although that doesn't stop me having the occasional chocolate!! - it's a CPVT thing!)
CPVT
First ICD 2004.
Current ICD implanted 09/06

Debi
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Re: Can altitude affect an ICD?

Post by Debi » October 20th, 2009, 6:28 pm

I live in Denver, and have lived here for 40 years. When I moved here, I was in my 20's. The only time I have gotten altitutde sickness was the first time I went skiing at high altitude.

Just be sure to drink water, and don't overdo exercise until you are acclimated to the altitude. You'll probably be more tired at first.

But don't let this keep you away from our beautiful state!! dancee

Debi

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Carl Portman
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Re: Can altitude affect an ICD?

Post by Carl Portman » October 21st, 2009, 8:15 am

I have no intention of staying away Debi - there's so much to see and do I believe. Looking at the map of USA it's so diverse, so interesting. I know one thing, I simply have to do that Skywalk at the Grand Canyon. WOW!
Carl
Debi wrote:I live in Denver, and have lived here for 40 years. When I moved here, I was in my 20's. The only time I have gotten altitutde sickness was the first time I went skiing at high altitude.

Just be sure to drink water, and don't overdo exercise until you are acclimated to the altitude. You'll probably be more tired at first.

But don't let this keep you away from our beautiful state!! dancee

Debi
Right Ventricular Dysplasia
St. Jude ICD implanted 28 September 2009
Ablation on 5th January 2011
Ablation on 26 October 2011
Sotalol and Mexilitine tablets
St Jude generator replacement on 02 January 2014

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leprechaun50
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Re: Can altitude affect an ICD?

Post by leprechaun50 » October 21st, 2009, 10:07 am

Carl Portman wrote:I have no intention of staying away Debi - there's so much to see and do I believe. Looking at the map of USA it's so diverse, so interesting. I know one thing, I simply have to do that Skywalk at the Grand Canyon. WOW!
Carl
Debi wrote:I live in Denver, and have lived here for 40 years. When I moved here, I was in my 20's. The only time I have gotten altitutde sickness was the first time I went skiing at high altitude.

Just be sure to drink water, and don't overdo exercise until you are acclimated to the altitude. You'll probably be more tired at first.

But don't let this keep you away from our beautiful state!! dancee

Debi
That ought to get your heart pumping!
Ed

Boston Scientific CRT-D implanted 8/17/09

Debi
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Re: Can altitude affect an ICD?

Post by Debi » October 21st, 2009, 6:35 pm

You definitely should come! I have been all over the southwest, and it is so beautiful. I've never been to the Grand Canyon, though.

I'd love to go to England. I went to France and Spain with 22 teen agers last March. Next time, I want to go with adults only. :D We did spend a few hours in Heathrow.

Debi

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whiteheadjf
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Re: Can altitude affect an ICD?

Post by whiteheadjf » October 21st, 2009, 7:13 pm

Carl - I suggest you do a little research to learn the potential effects. Here is the first article that came up when I googled http://mgpc3.as.arizona.edu/altitude.htm. Lack of O2, due to any reason, can cause some problems especially if you're not used to it. I certainly wouldn't let it affect your itinerary unless you decide there is undo risks. Bottom line: ask your Dr.
non-ischemic cardiomyopathy
Medtronic Maximo II 2009
Boston Scientific 2015 (generator replacement)
Pacemaker syndrome / PMT 2015
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TravelingMan
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Re: Can altitude affect an ICD?

Post by TravelingMan » October 22nd, 2009, 4:07 pm

Cabin Pressure Altitude in most jet aircraft is around 6-7,000 ft. So if you're confortable in a plane you should be OK in Denver un less you stress yourself. Take it easy for the first few days and see how you adjust. Remember to stay hydrated.

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Sparkydog
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Re: Can altitude affect an ICD?

Post by Sparkydog » October 24th, 2009, 9:36 am

I've been to Pike's Peek with my ICD and never had an issue. Also i have gone to Cripple Creek yearly with no problems.

Ron

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Clint
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Re: Can altitude affect an ICD?

Post by Clint » October 24th, 2009, 11:29 pm

Guys..no altitude is not a problem.
The only atmospheric pressure concerns we ICD’ers will experience are columns of atmospheric pressure. The force per unit area exerted by the weight of air; at sea level the air pressure is 14.7 psi. (air pressure decreases with altitude.)

The ambient pressure including the air column over the water. The air column = 1 atm. at sea level. In sea water, another atmosphere is added each 33 FSW (Feet of Sea Water) . There is an increase in pressure per foot of sea water equivalent to 1/33 or .So ATA may be calculated by multiplying the depth (FSW) by .0303030 and then adding 1 for the air above the water. i.e. the ATA at 46 FSW = (46 * .0303030) + 1 = 2.3939 ATA. to convert ATA to FSW. ATA - 1 * 33 = FSW.

Basicaly this means that The above is a copy and paste from a physics reference I use. Essentially what it says is that for every 33 feet we descend below sea level – our bodies are subjected to an additional atmosphere of pressure.

Most of us, as Kat and I well know – having been addicted to SCUBA pre implant, have ICDs that are rated at to 33 feet as it applies to diving. That is one atmosphere or 14.7 psi of pressure exerted on our bodies.
That applies to under water activities.

As you go up in elevation, atmospheric pressure decreases in a proportional value. Egro…..we will have less PSI pressure on our body surface and subsequently our organs and (hey) implants as we go up in altitude. JIMHO altitude is NOT a consideration or worry.

That said, and I have to do some calculations on this to feel right about this following assumption, if we were to go to Death Valley which is 232 feet below sea level would we risk the same column of atmospheric PSI worries? Initially I am going to say no given the fact that at 232 feet below sea level in Death Valley, we are not also subjected to the significant weight of the water – duh..the only water in Death Valley is what you bring with you and what is available at local concessions.

I’ll need to go off and do some thinking on water columns of pressure as opposed to non water environments and the net effect on ICDs. I will say this……I have flown a number of times in non pressurized plane and commercial aircraft typically pressurized at 8000’ feet (higher than the Denver –the mile high city) as have many of you guys…and I have to say…altitude is not a consideration.

Drinking at altitude is a worry – but that’s a subject for further forensic discussion.
f expanding enough to intake air that is not under pressure.


I’ll need to go off and do some thinking on water columns of pressure as opposed to non water environments and the net effect on ICDs. I will say this……I have flown a number of times in non pressurized plane and commercial aircraft typically pressurized at 8000’ feet (higher than the Denver –the mile high city) as have many of you guys…and I have to say…altitude is not a consideration.

Drinking at altitude is a worry – but that’s a subject for further forensic discussion.
1 beer at 8000 feet is the same as 3 at sea level......comments??

C-)
Last edited by Clint on October 24th, 2009, 11:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
I am trying to develop a lifestyle that does not require my presence.

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Clint
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Re: Can altitude affect an ICD?

Post by Clint » October 24th, 2009, 11:43 pm

The only atmospheric pressure concerns we ICD’ers will experience is columns of atmospheric pressure. The force per unit area exerted by the weight of air; at sea level the air pressure is 14.7 psi. (air pressure decreases with altitude.)

The ambient pressure including the air column over the water. The air column = 1 atm. at sea level. In sea water, another atmosphere is added each 33 FSW (Feet of Sea Water) . There is an increase in pressure per foot of sea water equivalent to 1/33 or .So ATA may be calculated by multiplying the depth (FSW) by .0303030 and then adding 1 for the air above the water. i.e. the ATA at 46 FSW = (46 * .0303030) + 1 = 2.3939 ATA. to convert ATA to FSW. ATA - 1 * 33 = FSW.

Basically what I am saying is that for every 33 feet we descend below sea level – under water, our bodies are subjected to an additional atmosphere of pressure.
Quantum is your friend

C-)

Most of us, as Kat and I well know – having been addicted to SCUBA pre implant, have ICDs that are rated at to 33 feet as it applies to diving. That is one atmosphere or 14.7 psi of pressure exerted on our bodies. That applies to under water activities.

As you go up in elevation, atmospheric pressure decreases in a proportional value. Egro…..we will have less PSI pressure on our body surface and subsequently our organs and (hey) implants as we go up in altitude. JIMHO altitude is NOT a consideration or worry.

That said, and I have to do some calculations on this to feel right about this following assumption, if we were to go to Death Valley which is 232 feet below sea level would we risk the same column of atmospheric PSI worries? Initially I am going to say NO given the fact that at 232 feet below sea level in Death Valley, we are not also subjected to the significant weight of the water – duh..the only water in Death Valley is what you bring with you and what is available at local concessions.

I’ll need to go off and do some thinking on water columns of pressure as opposed to non water environments and the net effect on ICDs. I will say this……I have flown a number of times in non pressurized plane and commercial aircraft typically pressurized at 8000’ feet (higher than the Denver –the mile high city) as have many of you guys…and I have to say…altitude is not a consideration.

Drinking at altitude is a worry – but that’s a subject for further forensic discussion.
f expanding enough to intake air that is not under pressure.
I am trying to develop a lifestyle that does not require my presence.

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