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Defibrillators device support

Traveling with a defibrillator

Back to the rhythm of life

As you begin feeling well, it’s natural to begin traveling again. It’s safe to travel with a subcutaneous implantable defibrillator (ICD or S-ICD) device as long as you talk to your doctor, carry your Medical Device ID Card, and understand the following precautions before taking off.

Older husband and wife in the airport looking at a mobile device

Airport security

Going through airport security can be confusing even for people without an implanted device. To help make the process easier, be sure to show your Medical Device ID Card at the first security station. This card identifies you as an implanted device patient. After showing your card, follow the security staff’s directions. Depending on the airport, the staff may do one of the following:

  • Send you through the security full body scanner. The Advanced Imaging Technology (AIT) full body scanner will not harm your device, or change the programmed settings. However, your device contains metal parts that may set off airport security metal detector alarms.
  • Use a hand-held security wand. If held over your device for too long, airport security wands could temporarily affect your device. If a wand must be used, tell the security officer that you have an implanted defibrillator and to avoid holding the wand over your implanted area.
  • Do a hand-pat search. If you request a hand-pat search, it can be conducted in a private area away from public view.

Note: The full body scanner will show your device on their image, but it will not sound an alarm while you are inside the scanner. You may be asked to show your Medical Device ID Card or to stand aside for a hand-pat search.

Medical Device ID Card

Whether you’re running a quick errand or going away for an extended trip, it’s important to carry your Medical Device ID Card with you at all times. In an emergency, your card will let medical and security personnel know that you have an implanted device. In addition to your Medical Device ID Card, Boston Scientific offers a security card for international travel. The card explains that your implanted device may trigger airport security alarms and is printed in 13 languages. To get a Medical Device Patient Security Card, call us at 1-866-484-3268.

Boston Scientific’s Medical Device ID Card

Find a heart specialist while you’re traveling

You can search for facilities nationwide and internationally that treat patients with Boston Scientific ICD and S-ICD devices should you need assistance while traveling.

We’re here to help

Our patient services team is here to support you throughout your journey.

TERMS OF USE: The information provided on the Electromagnetic (EMI) Guide should not be considered the exclusive or only source for this information. The table lists a general category of items only and is not intended to be an exhaustive list. The recommendations and precautions may be based on information provided by the manufacturers of the items in question, and specific items within a category may function differently. It is best practice to consult the original manufacturer of the item with potential EMI to verify any specific guidance concerning operation and compatibility with implantable devices. If at any time there is a question about the function and potential for Electromagnetic Compatibility, contact the manufacturer of the item in question for further information. At all times, it is the responsibility of the licensed healthcare professional to exercise medical clinical judgment in a particular circumstance.

The information provided is not intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment or as a substitute for professional medical advice. The recommendations and precautions contained in this document apply to device function of Boston Scientific Cardiac Rhythm implantable devices. Specifically device susceptibility to electromagnetic interference. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillators - Important Safety Information

An implantable cardioverter defibrillator is designed to monitor and treat heart rhythm problems, greatly reducing the risks associated with them. These devices are sensitive to strong electromagnetic interference (EMI) and can be affected by certain sources of electric or magnetic fields.  With all medical procedures there are risks associated.  In regard to an implanted ICD, the risks include but are not limited to inappropriate shock, lead moves out of place, loss of stimulation capability, allergic reaction, fluid underneath the skin, and infection.  In rare cases device failure or death can occur.   Be sure to talk with your doctor so that you thoroughly understand all of the risks and benefits associated with the implantation of this system. To obtain a copy of the device Patient Handbook for more detailed device safety information, go to ,  or you can request a copy by calling 1-866-484-3268 or writing to Boston Scientific, 4100 Hamline Ave. N., St. Paul, MN  55112. 

S-ICD™ System - Important Safety Information

An implantable cardioverter defibrillator is designed to monitor and treat heart rhythm problems, greatly reducing the risks associated with them. There are risks associated with this device including, but not limited to, allergic reactions, bleeding, death, fever, infection, kidney failure, need for surgical replacement, nerve damage, stroke and tissue damage. Electrical or magnetic fields can affect the device. In some cases, the device may not respond to irregular heartbeats or may deliver inappropriate shocks and in rare cases severe complications or device failures can occur. Your physician should discuss all potential benefits and risks with you and describe the appropriate medical care.

Refer to the product labeling for specific indications, contraindications, warnings/precautions and adverse events. 

Rx only.

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