Beep. . . .Beep. . . .Beep

Posts from Jan 1 2008 thru Dec 31 2008

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Beep. . . .Beep. . . .Beep

Post by jeb » December 29th, 2008, 6:36 pm

I think that the strange beeping I have been hearing since Christmas Day is coming from my ICD. I was around the apartment for the past four days and heard these 10 or so beeps about three or four times a day. I figured it was someone outside, or a neighbor, or whatever. But today I am in my office at work and it just happened again. Should I panick now or later? My regular device tech is on vacation and I have a call in to the cardiac advice nurse. I mean, how long after it starts beeping (and you REALIZE it is beeping), do you self destruct??? :?

Brugada Syndrome; Boston Scientific Incepta (third device implanted 5/27/15); Guidant Leads

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Post by Sparkydog » December 29th, 2008, 6:51 pm

Go to the doctor. Go directly to the doctor. Do not pass Go, do not collect $200. Maybe it's a low battery warning, maybe not, but I've never heard of one of an ICD beeping just to be beeping.


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Post by gatornc » December 29th, 2008, 6:58 pm

The beeping is a warning for either a low battery or a lead failure. You really need to have it checked out as soon as possible. Good luck and lets us know what going on with if it. We can be nosey people some times.

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Post by Clint » December 29th, 2008, 7:27 pm

Low battery no big deal. Broken lead - big deal. Althought when I pulled my lead alarm. BUT - my lead wasn't broken - it was separated which changed the contineuity and resistance values. I pulled out the pacing lead - not the shocking lead. More than likely it is a low battery. Bottom line is that you need to have an expert opinion.YOu have the St. Jude right?

ICDs are designbed to beep on low batteries - at least my Medtronic is. I'll try to run down some more info for you.

Do you know how many leads you have? If yo have a brokenor disconnected lead it makes a difference if it is the pacing lead or the defib lead.

Hey Hugo are you out there????????
What's your best advise? I don't read this as a panic situation........but it is FOR SURE A HIGH PRIORITY.
From Guident...
How long does an ICD last?
This depends on a number of factors including the size of the ICD (larger units are less comfortable but last longer), the type of defibrillator needed by a patient, the amount of pacing an ICD is doing and the number of shocks a patient is receiving. A typical shock takes about two weeks of energy from the ICD battery. ICD batteries are made of lithium vanadium oxide and are different then pacemaker batteries. ICD batteries are called upon at times to deliver very high current flows. Unfortunately, the type of battery chemistry needed for this feature makes ICD batteries last a shorter amount of time then pacemaker batteries. ICD's generally will last between three and 8 years, again depending on a number of individual variables. When an ICD starts to run low, we get nearly a year of warning so that an exchange can be scheduled. Many ICDs also have a feature in which they will start to beep or produce steady tones (yes like an alarm clock) when the battery had reached elective replacement time (i.e. when about six months of battery life remains). These ICDs will also start to produce tones to alert the patient is any of a number of other technical self checks that the ICD routinely performs results in an abnormal reading. Should you hear your ICD beep or produce a tone, please contact us so that we can interrogate the ICD to determine the cause of the fault. You can contact the ICD device manufacturers listed below for more specific answers to your questions.
From a legal source relative to Medtronic: ... tients.htm
FDA Warning

The FDA has advised patients to take the following steps:

* Contact your doctor to determine if you have an affected ICD.

* Contact your doctor if you feel an electrical shock from your device.

* Contact your doctor or go to the nearest emergency room if you hear an audible "beeping" from your ICD. ... gation.pdf
FrQ: What should I do if I hear "beeping" from my ICD?
A: If you hear an audible "beep" from your ICD, please contact the office, Monday - Friday
8:30AM - 5:00PM at 713-790-9401. There are many defibrillators that emit a tone when there
is a parameter that needs to be assessed. In general, this is not an another source:
If you need help - call one of us. YOu have our phone numbers right? I'll PM you with mine.

I am trying to develop a lifestyle that does not require my presence.


Post by Mark » December 29th, 2008, 8:04 pm


Some excellent advice here- let your doctor know ASAP: beeping needs to be attended to quickly. I can imagine hearing the beeping and thinking " OH crap, whats going on now?!?!" I would have been like and it would have taken me days to realize it was me. ;)

Let us know what they find Janet, and good ot see you on the board. :)


Post by Mark » December 29th, 2008, 8:05 pm

gatornc wrote:The beeping is a warning for either a low battery or a lead failure. You really need to have it checked out as soon as possible. Good luck and lets us know what going on with if it. We can be nosey people some times.
Sean, you are so right, but I love this kind of nosey too! :)

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Post by Kathy B » December 29th, 2008, 8:09 pm

Janet if you have a carelink you could send them a strip and have an answer within a few minutes.
Kathy B
Four open heart surgeries
Lung surgery for paralyzed diaphragm
Seven stents
Brain bleed
Pacemaker upgraded to ICD due to SCD episode
Multiple ablations but back in afib 24/7
Loss of my spouse Jim 6-17-2008
Meeting a new Jim
Marry Jim 9-26-2009
New ICD, Concerto and Fidelis lead removal 12-11-2009

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Post by jeb » December 29th, 2008, 9:05 pm

Sigh. I have gone five years with this device and managed to find a way to live just fine by ignoring it for the most part. So I never associated the beeping (it seemed to come from somewhere far away, not from my body) with the ICD. BIG no no! It was a low battery, and I have to have it replaced soon. After I posted, and Ron posted "go to the doctor, do not pass go, etc" I got through to the cardiac unit and they called me in immediately. Leave it to me to be one of the days when I took a bus to work! So a co-worker drove me to Kaiser and the interrogation showed low battery (elective replacement time). Well, surprise, surprise--I have had this thingy for five+ years! So I will be off to the EP replacement clinic in Santa Clara within a month or so. This time I want to get an ICD that has the Care-link so I don't have to go through this testing every three months.

It just goes to show, folks, that you can think you have everything under control, that the panic you felt when you first got your ICD has finally dissipated, that something as simple as a beep can bring the fear right up to the surface in a flash. I was actually caught off guard by my reaction. So thanks, you all, for jumping into the fray! I love you guys!

Brugada Syndrome; Boston Scientific Incepta (third device implanted 5/27/15); Guidant Leads

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Post by Helen » December 29th, 2008, 10:02 pm

Janet, I am so happy that you found out what was causing the beeping...and that you are going to get a new one.. I would be like you wondering what the noise was and checking smoke alarms, the TV, etc. and not thinking of my ICD.. Well thank goodness it was just the low battery and not a broken lead.. Hope all goes well for you.. Love, Helen
Snowflakes are one of nature's most fragile things, but just look what they can do when they stick together.

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Post by Clint » December 29th, 2008, 11:04 pm

I thought I told you about the story of the guy who bought the new truck and took it back to the dealer several times because every time he got in to start it - it beeped. Turns out that the acoustics of the truck cab were GREAT and that's the only place he heard the beep - beep - beep. NO doubt he felt like a bleep-bleep-bleep when the dealer asked him why he was beeping......

Good stuff and a good lesson to all of we don't have to be afraid of what goes beep in the the night.

I am trying to develop a lifestyle that does not require my presence.

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Post by kevk » December 30th, 2008, 7:12 am

It took me a few days to realize the beeping was coming from me and not from the road work outside my home. I called my Doctor and had a interrogation to confirm low battery alarm. The Doctor shut off the alarm and told me I would have 4-6 weeks of battery life left. I would imagine it depends on what functions are being used to how long your battery will last after the alarm starts.

The beeping was very faint and seemed to come and go, I think it is a great feature.

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Post by Kat » December 30th, 2008, 1:28 pm

Janet, I thought we had just talked about your device life and that it must be up soon at our last meeting. As soon as I saw this subject line, I figured it was low battery, but yes, you were right to get it checked right away.

The beeping is faint. The doctors let me hear it when the first round of news on the fidelis leads came out. Other than that, I am not sure I would know what it is.

Glad you are getting this replaced. I am betting your get one of the new fangle ones that has a carelink and it is wireless. Be sure to let us know when are where the surgery is. We will show up and cause all sorts of trouble for you at the hospital. :lol:
~Kat - Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy
-That which does not kill us can really mess up our hair!
-Having one near life experience after another.

Intro post: ... 5694#p5694

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Post by markokc4863 » December 30th, 2008, 2:44 pm

I went through the whole beeping thing right after I got my ICD, panicked, went to the Dr. and come to find out later on, we figured out it was the "no signal" beep from my cell phone LOL!!

Medtronic Virtuoso DR
Sudden Cardiac Death - 5/7/2008 (my wedding anniversary)
ICD Implant - 5/9/2008
First Shock - 6/9/2008


Post by Mark » December 30th, 2008, 3:43 pm


Great news and am very happy that you decided to give a call into the doctors. I, like you, would have waited until something might have become drastic before doing anything about it. I am very happy all is working out well and let us know how everything goes with the new device implantation. :)

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Post by TravelingMan » December 30th, 2008, 3:49 pm

The low battery alarm for mine is set for 7:30AM CST. Couple of years ago I'm at a conference and hear this beeping about mid-morning. Didn't think anything about it, lot of background noise. Heard it a couple of times that week. Since it wasn't at 7:30 I ignored it. A week or so later I heard it again sitting at my desk. This time I attributed to an old digital watch with an alarm I had stuck away. After a couple of weeks of this nuisance alarm going off, I'm in the backyard and heard it again. Nothing around to cause it so I raise my shirt and sure enough it's me. It's a Sunday so I transmit a Carelink and call in in Monday. Heart Clinic isn't too concerned about it and tell me to come in that afternoon. Later that morning I'm driving and it goes off again. This time the Heart Clinic says come in.
Everything is fine, battery is good, programming is good, no problems whatever.

After conferencing back and forth between the EP, Nurse Practitioner, the techs, Medtronic's rep and Medtronic it was decided I had been struck by a stray neutron of solar radiation at the exact spot to trigger this alarm. As the EP said, all of this scientific explanation sounds better than saying, it happens. I've never heard it again.

I would recommend learning what time your low battery alarm is set for and have them let you hear it.

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