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Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (ICD) An ICD is surgically implanted under the skin. It continually monitors the heartbeat and delivers a shock to the heart when it detects a dangerous rhythm. The shocks can be painful, like a kick in the chest. Medicines can be given to try to reduce how often the person experiences the irregular heartbeats that trigger the device to deliver a shock. Source: National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institute of Health. nhlbi.nih.gov LifeART Collection Images Copyright © 1989-2001 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Baltimore, MD Right Atrium Right Ventricle Implantable cardioverter defibrillator inserted under skin Electrodes Electrodes inserted into vein leading to heart