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October 6, 1993

Driving Safety Among Patients With Automatic Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillators

Author Affiliations

From the Division of Cardiology, Department of Medicine and the Gazes Cardiac Research Institute (Ms Finch and Dr Leman), the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Department of Surgery (Dr Kratz), and the Division of Pediatric Cardiology, Department of Pediatrics (Dr Gillette), Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston.

JAMA. 1993;270(13):1587-1588. doi:10.1001/jama.1993.03510130093037

Objective.  —To determine the driving behavior of patients following the placement of automatic implantable cardioverter defibrillators (AICDs).

Subjects and Design.  —Forty patients with AICDs (33 men, seven women; mean age, 62.7 years) responded to a questionnaire designed to ascertain driving behavior after hospital discharge.

Results.  —Despite medical advice never to drive again, 28 patients (70%) resumed driving, with the majority doing so by 8 months after AICD implantation. Of these, 11 (40%) identified themselves as the primary driver in their household. Fourteen (50%) drove daily. Two (7%) were driving and continued to drive during discharge of their AICDs. Twenty-five (91%) reported that they felt comfortable and safe while driving.

Conclusion.  —A majority of patients with AICDs continue to drive after a proscription of this activity by health care workers.(JAMA. 1993;270:1587-1588)