Driving restrictions after cardioverter/defibrillator implantation

  • Berndt Lüderitz
  • Werner Jung
Part of the Developments in Cardiovascular Medicine book series (DICM, volume 183)


The series “Illness and Vehicular Traffic,” published by the German Federal Ministry for Transportation, has set forth the following guidelines on the subject of driving for patients with cardiac rhythm disorders:

Anyone suffering from disorders of cardiac rhythm which might, on occasion, lead to the repeated interruption of oxygen supply to the brain and thus cause disturbances in consciousness or even loss of consciousness, must be considered unsuitable for driving a motor vehicle of any class…Once this rhythm disorder has been successfully treated either by drugs or the use of a so-called cardiac pacemaker … then the driving privilege for (private) vehicles … may be conditionally reinstated, providing that cardiac function has been normalized for three months and that symptoms resulting from the interruption of the oxygen supply to the brain have not recurred.[1]

While these guidelines are essentially indisputable, it remains unclear how they affect patients with an implantable cardioverter/defibrillator (ICD). The issue is further complicated by the fact that these patients, as a rule, suffer from malignant and life-threatening cardiac rhythm disorders, often owing to a severe cardiac disorder (primarily coronary heart disease and cardiomyopathy). The rapid increase in the number of patients receiving electrical therapy via an ICD makes this subject of special importance. Technological progress in pacing and shocking methods together with transvenous leads today allows for a totally transvenous implantation of such systems.


Ventricular Fibrillation Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator Ventricular Tachyarrhythmia Cardiac Pace Sudden Death Syndrome 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Berndt Lüderitz
  • Werner Jung

There are no affiliations available

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