Abstract 1985: Driving Restrictions in Patients with Implantable Cardiac Defibrillator for Primary Prevention - A Web Survey
According to ACC/AHA/NSAPE 2002 Guideline Update for Implantation of Cardiac Pacemakers and Antiarrhythmia Devices, current policies on driving advise the patient with an ICD to avoid operating a motor vehicle for a minimum of 3 months and preferably 6 months after the last symptomatic arrhythmic event. There are no specific recommendations on driving for patients with an ICD implantation for primary prevention.
Objective: To determine the current practice of Cardiologists when advising driving restrictions to their patients with prophylactic ICD implantation.
Methods: We conducted a web-based survey of 20,000 cardiologists to determine their advice for patients with ICD for primary prevention.
Results: Among the 973 cardiologists who responded to the survey (5% response rate), 400 cardiologists (41.5%) reported no driving restrictions, 341 (35.3%) reported less than 1 month, 97 (10.1%) for 3 months, 79 (8.2%) for 6 months and 5 for 12 months and 8 indefinitely (Figure⇓). With respect to specialty, 529 (54.6%) were Adult cardiology, 347 (35.8%) Electrophysiologists, 4 (0.4%) Nuclear cardiology and 89(9.2%) Interventional cardiologists. Type of practice 571 (59.5%) were in private, and 389 (40.5%) were in academic setting. With regard to the number of patients with ICD in each practice, for primary prevention, mean = 294, for secondary prevention, mean = 337, and for both, mean = 574.
Conclusion: Our data shows that 76.8 % of the Cardiologists recommend no driving restrictions for patients with ICD for primary prevention. About 23 % of the Cardiologists still recommend driving restrictions for 3 to 6 months beyond the usual post-procedure restrictions.